Analysis of page 3

This entry will be about the analysis of page 3. The below shows how the points are distributed through the page:


Things that are new in this page would be:

–      Dotted fourth note (determines the duration of the note)

–      Tie (You have to keep pressing the note as long as it is included in the tie)

–      Cresc. Crescendo which means a gradual up rise in the volume of the line.

–      P- Piano which means soft, stronger than mp

–      Poco rit. You slowdown that part to make it stand out

This page uses quite a specific word to show what it necessary to play it, but once you remember them all I think it would be no problem!


Practice of page 2(2)

This entry will be about the practice I did continuing from last week. Personally the last three lines, especially the last two lines were quite challenging.


First as usual I started with the right hand. The fourth line was quite easy because the basic shape for both hands were similar to the first three lines. But for some people the little difference may be more challenging, so please be careful and remember them.

But what I had difficulty the most was the fifth and sixth line, because first there are many chords from measure 1, which makes the movement of the hand very complex. But on the other hand the fourth measure for the second last line is same as the line 1, and for the last line the shape changes, but there are no chords so it is easy.


Next I practiced the left hand. What changed the most is that for each measure there are four one-fourth notes, which changes the tempo. I think that this part was the most challenging part of page 2, and I advise you guys to practice hard on this part by just playing left hand before combining it with your right hand.


Finally, for combining right hand and the left hand again the last two lines were hard because the tempo is different, but after some practice and remember when to play the left hand with the right hand.

Video for P2BH4&5&6:

Video for P2BHALL:


This will be it for this entry, and I think I am doing well following the action plan and I can feel that my musical skill is improving a lot. Please watch the video, and see you!

Practice of page 2

This entry will be about my practice of page 2 this week. According to my action plan I have two weeks of practice, so for this week I decided to only practice the first three lines of the page, which is half, and leave the rest for next week.


First I started with my right hand. For the right hand, I thought that the first measure was quite easy throughout the three lines, because it consisted of less chords compared to other measures. In addition, the basic shapes are same. But for the second and third measure it consisted of several chords and was quite challenging, so my advice would be to concentrate on these two measures for the practice. For the fourth measure, every time the shape is different, and there are chords where you need to press three keys at once, but the difference between the notes are not so big, so I didn’t find it very hard. However, the time you have to rest is different in the first and second line, so at first it may be good to count up the beats in your head or out loud.


Secondly I practiced the left hand, and I think the left hand was quite challenging compared to page 1, because it had combination of one fourth and whole note, so you have to keep playing the whole note while playing the one fourth note. This makes the use of fingers quite difficult. Thus, my video for only left hand absolutely ignores the tempo, and just plays the keys in order. But if you remember the order of keys and which keys to press on which part, you would be able to master it.


Combining the right and left hand was quite easy, because all of the keys in the left hand matches each of the keys on the right hand. For this page I felt that counting the beats in your head or out loud was quite effective during the practice, because the tempo changes from the first page and the number of notes in one measure is mostly constant.

Video for P2BH1&2&3:


Well this will be it for this entry and next entry will be about the practice I did for the rest of page 2. See you!

Analysis of page 2

This entry will be on the analysis of page 2 of “Merry Christmas Mr. Lawrence. Again, below are how the points are distributed:


Most of the things that you have to know in order to practice page 2 is same with page 1, but there were some new things you would have to know:

–      Andante: Walking tempo

–      Dynamics: mp (mezzo piano) which is louder than pianissimo

–      Bass clef (The keys you press for each notes is different from treble clef, used for showing keys that are out of range of the normal notation). For detail see the website I used in analysis of page 1

–      Symbols for rest (see the website)


I guess this is all the things you need to know for starting practice for page 2, and see you!


Practice of page 1

This entry will be about the practice I did during this week. This page was quite easy compared to other pages according to my point system, and I agree that this page wasn’t too difficult.


First I marked every notes as C, D, E, F, G, A, B, with marking for which one is flat. I started practice on the right hand for first two lines. The basic shape is just playing keys it says in the notation, so after some practice I was able to master it. However, what you should be careful of would be the accent mark that is drawn above some notes. As I said in the last entry you should play these keys little stronger than other keys. I had a hard time remembering which keys has the accent on it, but after finding some pattern I was able to learn it.

Video for P1RH1&2 (Page 1, right hand, line 1&2):


Then I practiced the left hand. Compared to other pages, my friend who can play piano said that first page is easy, because you only have to play your left hand one, or sometimes two times per one measure. This means that simply number of left hands is less, which makes it easy. In addition, for the first two lines the difference between the notes weren’t so big, so the transition was quite easy.

Video for P1LH1&2:


Well after learning the first two lines, the right hand for the rest of it was not as challenging, except for the fact you have to play double notes in your right hand. However, the double notes are only between same notes on different octaves, so you have to only stretch your hand to reach the next octave.

Video for P1RH3&4&5:


For the left hand it was quite challenging especially in the transition between measure 1 and two in the fourth line. This is because you have to change from a chord to chord with both of them you have to play four keys at once. This makes the transition very difficult, so I recommend you to practice only left hand for that part, watching my video.

Video for P1LHALL:

Video for P1BHALL:


The basic shapes were the same throughout the first page in my opinion, but the last one measure consisted of a different shape. I can’t explain it in words, so please see the video and your musical notation and practice. It wasn’t that hard, but sometimes you will make mistakes on which keys to press for the left hand, so be careful.


This will be it for this entry, and please see my videos several times to see the details, or just get the overall flow of it! The next entry will be on the analysis of the second page. See you.

Analysis of page 1

This will be the second entry today, and this will be about the analysis of page 1. First this is the picture of how the points were distributed in page 1:screenshot-185

Personally I want to use pictures and explain each symbols, but because of copyright I can’t do that. So, please see the website ( and analyze it yourself. But I will list things (names) of symbols that you should know before starting practice of the first page:

–      Marks of flats

–      Type of notes, number of notes in one measures (Two numbers)

–      Speed: Lento- means slow tempo

–      Dynamics- pp(pianissimo) which means very soft

–      Marks of the accent (like a triangle hat) here you have to play little stronger


I think these are all the things you have to know to for starting practice. Other things I will be explaining as I go by. See you!

How will I be practicing…

Hello, in this entry I will be talking about how I am going to approach the practice. When I first thought about it I knew that I need a plan. But for making a plan you need a way to analyze the difficulty! So, from a beginner’s perspective I made up several rules to change the notation into points and count them up! Those are:

  1. Count up the number of notes (Simply counting number of dots)
  2. If there is a same pattern of the notes, -10 points
  3. If treble clef, 0 points   Bass clef- 10 points
  4. Speed (Lento: 0   Andante: 1    a Tempo: 2)
  5. Difference between the notes (For example, C to D is 2 points each)
  6. Number of flats(black keys) (1 point per one note of flat)
  7. # of chords (When you have to press two notes together) Double: 1 points, Triple: 2 points…

After summing up points for each pages (Overall 5 pages) and calculating the average, according to the difficulty I created a plan like

Dates Which part I should practice
2016/10/31~ 2016/11/6 Page1
2016/11/7~ 2016/11/13 Page2
2016/11/14~ 2016/11/20 Page3
2016/11/21~ 2016/11/27 Page3
2016/11/28~ 2016/12/4 Page4
2016/12/5~ 2016/12/11 Page4
2016/12/12~ 2016/12/18 Page4
2016/12/19~ 2016/12/25 Page5
2016/12/26~ 2016/12/31 Any page if there are parts I have to practice more.


This is an action plan for me to practice in 2 months. I have to say that I can’t post pictures of my musical notation on this blog because of copyright, so please buy one copy of the notation. You can buy it in the link:


This will be it for this entry and in the next entry I will be analyzing in detail the first page. See you!

Journey towards “Merry Christmas Mr. Lawrence”

Hello, I am shimshim36 and this is my first blog in my life. In this blog I will be recording my pathway to becoming able to play “Merry Christmas Mr. Lawrence” completely with piano in a short period of 2 months! Before you start reading my blog let me say one thing. In my life I never learnt any musical instruments, and even can’t read the musical notation at all. Well this will be a very hard challenge but I will work hard. Through the blog I will be writing my opinions what I felt, and advices from a perspective of a perfect beginner.


So first I want to talk about the background information on the piano piece Merry Christmas Mr. Lawrence. This piece was a theme song for a movie “Merry Christmas Mr. Lawrence” directed by Nagisa Ohshima. The movie starts off with a dying American soldier, Jack Celliers coming to the Japanese prisoner’s camp. This man’s arrival gives a huge impact on the complex structure of the camp. He urges anger from the administration, since the Japanse side can’t understand why they surrendered. At that time in Japan you are told to commit suicide if you are getting captured. And caught between this friction is Officer John Lawrence, who is the only person that can speak both Japanese and English in the camp. In the movie he gradually develops this strange friendship with Gengo Hara, the guard of the camp. In addition, captain Yonoi who runs the camp begins to seek interest on Jack and …  This is far i will say, and please see the movie yourself in youtube or anything. But this movie makes you think about how you should live and how you think, so I recommend this movie for you guys.


Well this will be it for this first entry and in the next entry I will talk about how I am going to approach this piece. See you!