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#1072904 - 06/01/08 06:56 PM Re: Does playing come naturally to you?
apple* Offline


Registered: 01/01/03
Posts: 19862
Loc: Kansas
did she come around the mountain?
_________________________
accompanist/organist.. a non-MTNA teacher to a few

love and peace, Õun (apple in Estonian)

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#1072905 - 06/02/08 02:52 AM Re: Does playing come naturally to you?
1silkyferret Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/19/08
Posts: 177
Loc: Elsewhere-now Texas
apple how are you doing????

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#1072906 - 06/02/08 08:49 AM Re: Does playing come naturally to you?
mdsdurango Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/01/04
Posts: 1755
Loc: Durango Colorado
 Quote:
Originally posted by 1silkyferret:
apple how are you doing???? [/b]
Yes apple*, how are you doing?
My bet is that you'll be coming round the mountain riding six white horses, head held high.
I wish you well!
So - Does playing come naturally to you apple*?

Get well soon!

Mike
_________________________
WHAT???????
Yamaha S6, U5C, P120
http://michaelstith.com

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#1072907 - 06/02/08 09:50 AM Re: Does playing come naturally to you?
Donna R. Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/26/07
Posts: 794
Got to pay your dues if you want to play piano, and you know it don't come easy (sorry, Ringo).

No, it doesn't come naturally. But neither did learning to ride a bike at 24 years old (still have the scars to show for that one). I didn't and don't expect it to - actually I think I'd say it's the most excruciatingly difficult thing I've ever tried to do in my life. And I love every moment of it.

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#1072908 - 06/02/08 10:23 AM Re: Does playing come naturally to you?
AnthonyB Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/28/07
Posts: 659
Loc: Center City, MN
Oh, I love to play...now work on the other hand...
_________________________
Roland FP-7 / Pianoteq 4.5.1


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#1072909 - 06/02/08 11:25 AM Re: Does playing come naturally to you?
Mike White Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/22/05
Posts: 518
Loc: 90 miles West of New Orleans
Having played by ear all of my life, It's much easier for me to learn to play a piece of music. If I know what piece is supposed to sound like, I don't have to pay too much attention to reading timing. I also tend to play the treble part by ear, once I've gone over it a few times, and only have to concentrate on the bass line. I eventually memorize the notes of the whole piece, but still play it by ear if that makes any sense. My next big challenge is to pick up a piece, "cold" and be able to figure out what it's supposed to sound like just by reading the music.
_________________________
My Recordings. Please feel free to comment or to ask a question.

Yamaha G3 & P-80 Digital

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#1072910 - 06/02/08 11:58 AM Re: Does playing come naturally to you?
apple* Offline


Registered: 01/01/03
Posts: 19862
Loc: Kansas
 Quote:
Originally posted by mdsdurango:
 Quote:
Originally posted by 1silkyferret:
apple how are you doing???? [/b]
Yes apple*, how are you doing?
My bet is that you'll be coming round the mountain riding six white horses, head held high.
I wish you well!
So - Does playing come naturally to you apple*?

Get well soon!

Mike [/b]
i'm doing great.. (1/8th of the way done).. i cut my hair off and it's really cute)..

yes, playing and music both come naturally to me.. but i am also perversely hard working.
_________________________
accompanist/organist.. a non-MTNA teacher to a few

love and peace, Õun (apple in Estonian)

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#1072911 - 06/02/08 12:21 PM Re: Does playing come naturally to you?
Innominato Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/05/08
Posts: 802
Loc: London
Depends.

I do not consider myself particularly talented in any way, but when I sit at the piano it happens to me the same as when I sit on a motorbike: I feel in my element, I know it is right for me, it does me good, "it feels right to be there" even in the worst days.

Some days I need to motivate or force myself a bit, some other I don't, but still "it feels right" immediately when I sit at the bench.

Some time you want to sit at the piano but there is always this or that competing for your attention: TV, or reading, or a computer. When I then make the effort of eradicating myself from the PC and sit at the piano, I wonder why I wasted so much useful time.

I cannot tell you more than that, as I will never really "feel" what other people "feel" at the keyboard and have also never asked.
_________________________
"The man that hath no music in himself / Nor is not mov'd with concord of sweet sounds / Is fit for treasons, stratagems, and spoils." (W.Shakespeare)

Kemble Conservatoire 335025 Walnut Satin

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#1072912 - 06/02/08 02:33 PM Re: Does playing come naturally to you?
Granny6 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/09/07
Posts: 85
Loc: England
I played all my long life by ear. Then I started Music ! My rhythm is great but my fingering is still RUBBISH. I keep trying............

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#1072913 - 06/02/08 02:57 PM Re: Does playing come naturally to you?
melissa d Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/17/07
Posts: 113
Loc: Cibolo, Texas
I enjoy playing it is a challenge. But it does not come naturally. I cannot sit and noodle around and make something that sounds like music. But the pieces I have learned I think I play well. At least the dog doesn't howl.
_________________________
My blog such as it is http://melissasjourneys.blogspot.com

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#1072914 - 06/02/08 05:39 PM Re: Does playing come naturally to you?
Happy Birthday Ted2 Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/04/02
Posts: 790
Loc: Auckland, New Zealand
Certainly not. My natural musical talents are very meagre and I have had to work very hard to get anywhere. Even now, at sixty, I do not consider I am either musician or pianist in the usually accepted senses of the words. Exactly what I am no longer interests or concerns me; other people can decide that. I just push the keys in ways which produce sounds which make me happy. Creating music makes me unconditionally happy, therefore the decades of work have richly rewarded me. That's all there is to it really.
_________________________
"Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the law" - Aleister Crowley

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#1072915 - 06/02/08 06:07 PM Re: Does playing come naturally to you?
hotkeys Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/12/07
Posts: 788
Loc: Massapequa, NY
Playing does not come naturally. The challenge for me is 1) not to look at the keys and 2) play separate parts simultaneously.

I have learned some very simple tunes. I am pleased with that progress, and I look toward improving my playing in the coming months...

- Mark
_________________________
...The ultimate joy in music is the joy of playing the piano...

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#1072916 - 06/02/08 07:44 PM Re: Does playing come naturally to you?
RatMan Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/03/08
Posts: 243
Loc: Bonneville Salt Flats
What is "natural?" As was pointed out, walking may be natural, but it has to be learned. Breathing is natural, but it's an autonomic function...walking and playing a musical instrument aren't.

My opinion is that some people are gifted in such a way that learning certain things comes much more easily than it does to others. I'm not one of those people when it comes to music. I have to work at it. Maybe that's to harsh a word. I have to keep at it, and I find that I'm enjoying myself along the way.

When I first started on keyboard instruments WAY back when (January of this year \:\) ) I had a hard time playing even the simplest things on one hand. I'd been playing electric bass for about 3 years when I bought the digital piano...which soon led to a Hammond organ...that I absolutely love. I've made a lot of progress, but it's taken a lot of time and it's also taken some restraint. I've had to make myself back away from the keyboard when I hit that wall of frustration. I figure that if I keep going while frustrated, I'm really going to diminish my chances of keeping music a pleasurable thing.

I also do things in a hit-and-miss fashion. Like Mr. SH, this is a hobby for me. I have no desire to perform in front of adoring crowds. I have no desire to learn classical music or methods. Not that I don't like that type of music, but rather because I've chosen to stay with the blues, along with some rock and jazz.

I still have a lot of trouble getting both hands to work together. But I'm working on that. It's not natural. \:\) I'm not very good (ok, I'm terrible) at sight-reading. But I'm working on that, too. Again, this is anything but natural for me. The connection between those marks on the page and the sounds I hear isn't there. But when I hear the music in my head I can play it. At first this was only with the bass. But it's beginning to happen on piano and organ. Seems to come about as the result of practice, concentration and desire.

Mark stated that he wants to be able to play without looking at the keys and play two separate parts simultaneously. I'm working on these things, too. Sometimes I make myself close my eyes as I play. This worked on the bass and it's getting better on the keyboards. Natural? Absolutely not. Sometimes I play the bass line with the left hand and chords with the right, other times I make myself switch. Natural Nope. But it's easier on a 2-manual organ than on a piano. \:\)

My oldest son's flute teacher once told him that "talent" was making something very difficult look easy. Well, I know where that leaves me. But I still keep trying, even if it doesn't look effortless and even when I make a lot of mistakes. I do it because I want to. Period. And as such, I'm having a good time with it.
_________________________
RatMan
1961 Hammond M-101, Casio Digital kb, a coupla basses and some other stuff.
Canon 40D and a half-full camera bag.
If it's worth doing, it's worth overdoing (I ain't thru doin the camera thing.)
http://www.chevyasylum.com
http://www.raytherat.com

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#1072917 - 06/04/08 03:53 PM Re: Does playing come naturally to you?
SantaFe_Player Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/31/08
Posts: 607
I'm a 'returning adult' rather than a beginning adult. But I will say that some of the technical (physical/mechanical) things have come with difficulty. The musicality seemed to be there from the outset - at age five, I started teaching myself to play and teaching myself to read music, which prompted my mother to decide I should take lessons. But the really, really technical things are not easy for me. In college it took me an entire year to become competent enough at a couple of fast cadenzas to be ready for a performance of the one and only Liszt piece I've studied. A year! And that's just one piece! Now that I'm starting back at playing, I look at the Liszt and wonder whether I truly ever could have played THAT...my fingers are 20 years older now and maybe I'll never get it back up to speed again.

So, different things come with different ease to different individuals. Even being challenged technically or theoretically, an adult beginner can bring a maturity to the music itself that a child cannot. If you learn a fairly technically attainable Brahms piece, for instance, you will no doubt have far better instincts as to how it should be presented than a pre-teen who plays at your same technical skill level. This is likely true for anything with a Romantic or Impressionistic flavor, because you can bring life experience (and possibly many more years of just listening to music) to the piece that a child or teen lacks, even if they can Clemente and Czerny circles around your fingers. Be patient with the things you still want to improve, and appreciate your strengths.
_________________________
SantaFe_Player

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#1072918 - 06/04/08 04:21 PM Re: Does playing come naturally to you?
Emmery Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/02/08
Posts: 2356
Loc: Niagara Region, On. Canada
SantaFe, I am in the same boat as you are. Played piano from age 5-12 with lessons, struggled with it and hated it. Something happened that suddenly made it easier and more enjoyable (possibly the death of my Nazi-like piano teacher). I became very good on my own by the age of 18 and even considered pursuing it professionally. Skip ahead 25 years and here I am today trying to get these old fingers working like they used to. Progress is slow and trying but I forge ahead. I think the naturalness of playing comes when you fully enjoy and immerse yourself in the artistic beauty of it rather than doubt all the small things that may be wrong. This requires a filter on the way you see things and can be hard to implement for a beginner.
_________________________
Piano Technician
George Brown College /85
Niagara Region

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#1072919 - 06/04/08 05:22 PM Re: Does playing come naturally to you?
SantaFe_Player Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/31/08
Posts: 607
Emmery - yeah, I agree to most of that, but if you really hose those cadenzas it just ain't the way Liszt intended it \:\) . I had a sequence of nice little old lady teachers as a kid who did the dutiful one-week-per-piece out of method books, with a pretty sticker on the piece after I'd learned it, and move on to the next. This bored me out of my skull and I quit lessons many times, only to find myself at the music store buying collections of Mozart sonatas and Chopin polonaises, which I would gleefully sit down and learn and memorize. It wasn't until I got into the university that I got a teacher who at least viewed repertoire and goals in a similar way that I did. I really enjoyed those years working with him but everything stopped cold turkey when I went on for my doctorate (needless to say it was NOT in music) and ..... so the story goes. Now I'm trying to resurrect old repertoire, but my new teacher is assigning more new pieces than old (this is almost certainly wise of him). I'm pleased that my memorization skills haven't completely tanked, but it will be awhile before I can get the speed back up, partly because I have so little time to practice now that I'm a working grown-up with other things I HAVE to do....

I don't suppose you'll let us know whether YOU had anything to do with the demise of your Nazi-like piano teacher \:\)
_________________________
SantaFe_Player

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#1072920 - 06/04/08 05:35 PM Re: Does playing come naturally to you?
SantaFe_Player Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/31/08
Posts: 607
p.s. what HAS tanked in the intervening years is my eyesight, not that it was great to begin with. I have yet to go to the eye doctor and invest in a new pair of piano glasses - one that is newly formulated for just the distance to the music rack from my bench. I think I'll wait until my new piano comes; it's sure to be different on a grand than it is on my spinet. Anyway, all the more motivation to get off book as quickly as possible and to be thankful I still can memorize! 'Cause I sure cant see worth diddly.
_________________________
SantaFe_Player

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#1072921 - 06/04/08 05:53 PM Re: Does playing come naturally to you?
currawong Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/15/07
Posts: 5903
Loc: Down Under
 Quote:
Originally posted by SantaFe_Player:
I think I'll wait until my new piano comes; it's sure to be different on a grand than it is on my spinet. [/b]
Yes, it certainly will be!
(that was supposed to represent a glasses-wearing person rather than a cool person. Not to say I'm not cool ...)
_________________________
Du holde Kunst...

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#1072922 - 06/04/08 06:06 PM Re: Does playing come naturally to you?
Always Wanted to Play Piano Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/22/08
Posts: 674
Loc: Chicago
I bet this has already come up, but so be it. In my (admittedly limited) experience, I am starting to doubt that real talent, the way I have always thought of it, is nearly as common as I once thought.

I used to think that there was real musical talent out there. I suspected I lacked this, but it's beside the point. The point was that I thought it was pretty common, this talent, this natural gift that allows music to simply come to (and through) people without them really working at it. The rest of us, well, we had to work at it.

I have been trying to learn the piano for about five months. During that time, I have watched my daughter's progress, monitored my own, and listened to the various recital recordings many have posted here. I still think that there are those who are born to be musicians / composers... but what I used to think was innate and fairly common, I am coming to regard as exceedingly, preciously rare. The Greats probably have / had it. Think Horowitz, Van Cliburn, Listz, Chopin, Mozart (and fill in the blank). But most accomplished musicians probably lack it; rather, they got where they are by working hard, practicing intelligently, and spending lots and lots of time.

That's where I am today.

So does it come naturally to me? Heck no. But before I came to this realization, I would have admitted that with a tinge of regret. Not today. Today, I see this process as a lot like running a marathon. It takes NO (ATHLETIC) TALENT WHATSOEVER to finish a marathon. After all, Oprah did it. Rather, it takes the discipline to properly prepare yourself for the race. The talent question is relevant not for finishing a marathon, but being able to do so in under 2 and a half hours.

Likewise, I no longer think it takes any talent whatsoever to play the piano in a way that is truly satisfying for the overwhelming majority of us. Discipline, proper practice, and time is necessary and sufficient.
_________________________

Casio Ap-200
Almost midway thru Alfred's All-In-One Book Two
Blogging my family's piano learning experiences: http://aw2pp.blogspot.com/

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#1072923 - 06/04/08 07:33 PM Re: Does playing come naturally to you?
SantaFe_Player Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/31/08
Posts: 607
Always Wanted:

I think to a large extent you are correct. Achievement is 99% perspiration and 1% talent. Those of us who aren't particularly talented can thoroughly enjoy music, can communicate via playing (sometimes when the stars are all properly aligned) and can - once in a rare while (rare for me anyway) - get that flash of whateveritis that keeps us working so hard. I think it takes a certain level of technical competence and knowing how to speak the language to be able effectively to communicate that emotion or viscerality that is within the music, and when we can, it is perceived as talent.

Wild and perhaps bogus speculation to follow:
In my rather limited experience with brilliant artists (I mean the real top-drawer ones who are outside the box and sometimes only recognized as brilliant in hindsight), I have truly begun to wonder whether the ones who are just wildly capable of tugging at our gut the way music or art in its highest form can do, aren't just a little crazy. Think of Emily Dickenson, Sylvia Plath. Some have suggested Mozart was perhaps bipolar. Happily, most of us are rather well-centered and sane, but we are also in large part the ones who admire and appreciate the efforts of the truly gifted....but I wonder if I'd really want to BE one of them. I think they live with a lot of mental discomfort.

Just ruminating here. I've known a few people like this and some ended up as suicides....but their contributions were truly inspired when they were in one of their functional periods. I think I'd rather be functional and in need of lots of hard work (not that the truly gifted don't also have to put in a lot of hard work....talent by itself won't cut it without the education, training, skills and time in the practice room).
_________________________
SantaFe_Player

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#1072924 - 06/04/08 07:38 PM Re: Does playing come naturally to you?
SantaFe_Player Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/31/08
Posts: 607
Hey, Currawong!

Love the cool dude, glasses or shades. And I like your taste in pianos. Yammy c3 en route to my house next month \:\)
_________________________
SantaFe_Player

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#1072925 - 06/04/08 08:00 PM Re: Does playing come naturally to you?
currawong Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/15/07
Posts: 5903
Loc: Down Under
 Quote:
Originally posted by SantaFe_Player:
Hey, Currawong!
Love the cool dude, glasses or shades. And I like your taste in pianos. Yammy c3 en route to my house next month \:\) [/b]
Great piano - enjoy!
_________________________
Du holde Kunst...

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#1072926 - 06/04/08 09:36 PM Re: Does playing come naturally to you?
agraffe Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/08/08
Posts: 132
Loc: Phoenix, AZ
Parts of piano playing seem to come naturally, and more so on certain days. There is much struggle involved, and I agree with the author of a book I recently read (_Note by Note: A Celebration of the Piano Lesson_ by Tricia Tunstall) that we must learn how to practice and that this is a process that is individual and that it is a process that must evolve at its own pace and in the privacy of our daily interactions with our pianos. As such, this process is not natural; we must in the beginning force ourselves to play again and again, slowly and separately, the same old measures until comprehension slowly dawns. Tunstall remarks that unless students at a certain stage in their development learn how to practice, progress will be "elusive," even for the best of students. So there is much to be said for the willingness to grapple, on a daily basis, week after week, with fragments of music which are boring in themselves, mere motions of the hand. It is out of such preparation that artistry is born. Without the hard work and commitment, it is hard--or perhaps impossible--to move forward.

So, no, I don't think playing piano comes naturally to me. I am a dedicated amateur. It will always be hard. I love it.
_________________________
鋼琴

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#1072927 - 06/04/08 09:42 PM Re: Does playing come naturally to you?
Always Wanted to Play Piano Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/22/08
Posts: 674
Loc: Chicago
SantaFe, there was a discussion on one of these forums a month or two ago. A parent came here saying that his child's teacher believed the child to be a young prodigy, a star in the making. The parent wanted to know what path he should take to make sure that the child grows up simultaneously well-adjusted, and yet also in an environment that would sufficiently allow the child's genius to flourish.

The answer was pretty unanimous: pick one or the other. Musical genius or well-adjusted adult. History suggests you can't have it both ways.

I had never thought about it before, but I can think of many more examples supporting your wild and bogus speculation than counterexamples (Mendelssohn maybe).
_________________________

Casio Ap-200
Almost midway thru Alfred's All-In-One Book Two
Blogging my family's piano learning experiences: http://aw2pp.blogspot.com/

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#1072928 - 06/04/08 10:21 PM Re: Does playing come naturally to you?
agraffe Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/08/08
Posts: 132
Loc: Phoenix, AZ
Slightly off-topic, but please indulge me--

SantaFe_Player, Dickinson is a hero of mine, perhaps my #1 hero. I think she led an unconventional life but that she was no freak. You might be interested in a wonderful biography of her titled _My Wars Are Laid Away in Books_. Her life was full.
_________________________
鋼琴

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#1072929 - 06/05/08 08:13 PM Re: Does playing come naturally to you?
1silkyferret Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/19/08
Posts: 177
Loc: Elsewhere-now Texas
 Quote:
Originally posted by SantaFe_Player:
p.s. what HAS tanked in the intervening years is my eyesight, not that it was great to begin with. I have yet to go to the eye doctor and invest in a new pair of piano glasses - one that is newly formulated for just the distance to the music rack from my bench. I think I'll wait until my new piano comes; it's sure to be different on a grand than it is on my spinet. Anyway, all the more motivation to get off book as quickly as possible and to be thankful I still can memorize! 'Cause I sure cant see worth diddly. [/b]
Sante Fe _player
there are print shops that can enlarge the music for you. Kinkos seems to be the best for that. Office depot can do about 10% bigger off thier self serve copiers.
The Alfred's stuff is big print compared to other music books.
I did not realize that until I realized that some of my stuff is a lot more than 18 bars on a page!

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#1072930 - 06/05/08 11:19 PM Re: Does playing come naturally to you?
Tony.S Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/15/06
Posts: 211
Loc: Alberta
I guess easy is relative … I play about 2 hours per day … I take lessons … workshops … and I think about how to learn and about the pieces I’m working on while away from the piano … and with that in place … I have to say yes it does come easy … maybe I’m just an optimist though.
\:\)
_________________________
Estonia 168 - slow down, relax, & listen

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#1072931 - 06/07/08 10:20 AM Re: Does playing come naturally to you?
Laurel Jean Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 09/22/07
Posts: 14
Loc: Central IL, USA
Although I earn my living in music and ministry with the piano and voice being my main instruments, I pray that I will never stop learning and feeling challenged to do better. I love the piano and give thanks every day for my natural abilities to play and to learn. But, I personally worry when my practice sessions seem too "easy".

Like others who have posted here, I do try to challenge myself just one step at a time, not taking on all of my limitations at once.

Keep on playing!
_________________________
Laurel Jean
http://www.laureljean.com

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#1072932 - 06/11/08 03:20 PM Re: Does playing come naturally to you?
SantaFe_Player Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/31/08
Posts: 607
Agraffe - I never said Dickenson was a freak. But she definitely had some severe mood swings, that no doubt contributed to her artistry. I wouldn't classify any artistic genious as a "freak"
oh - wait - let me qualify that.....I wouldn't presume to assume that most artistic greats/prodigies are 'freaks' but there seems to have been an anomalously high number of them who were manic-depressive. This isn't freakism, it's just an extreme extension of mood swings, but one that tends to get away from these people and sometimes dominate their lives (based on those I have known personally). Worst case scenario it can be crippling and/or deadly. But the really highly gifted seem to have a dose of it above and beyond how most functional 'regular' folks experience. Never called them freaks. Just suggested that exceptionally gifted seem also to experience a lot more emotional pain than I'd want. I prefer to be ordinary, myself.
_________________________
SantaFe_Player

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#1072933 - 06/11/08 03:26 PM Re: Does playing come naturally to you?
SantaFe_Player Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/31/08
Posts: 607
Thanks, Silkyferret. I don't know what "Alfred's" is. Most of what I'm playing is Bach WTC and Beethoven sonatas, plus some Chopin polonaises (and a Brahms I'm leaning that my teacher doesn't know I'm learning yet, but I've heard it on several of my CD's and want to play it). I suppose I could enlarge these, but size is not the only issue \:\) There's an astygmatism (sp?) and two eyes that don't work together when I"m tired as well (although all my other eyes do, HAR). This has been an issue since childhood, but size is starting to come into it now!
_________________________
SantaFe_Player

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Some interesting finds in a museum visit today!
by LarryShone
57 minutes 20 seconds ago
Help with a Bluthner
by Classicalist
Today at 12:54 PM
Yamaha DGX650 - looking for an alternative! Need advice
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Piano oriented film soundtracks/scores.
by aDino
Today at 11:21 AM
Help with dynamics
by noobpianist90
Today at 03:53 AM
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