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#1079040 - 01/20/09 09:43 PM Newbie Advice
BarbVA Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/03/09
Posts: 166
Do you find that you pick a favorite song and stick with it or play a variety.

I started just about 2 weeks ago teaching myself and moved through the kids level 1A Alfred Book and Recital book, in about a week, and the only songs I really liked out of it were Quiet River and The Indian Song, so I played them a lot, along with Level one printouts of Beethoven's 5th and America that I printed from a link off of this site.

Then I read here a lot, and decided to get a teacher. So I had my first lesson, and she gave me two pieces, of which I only like one, The Rainbow Song, so I play that every day several times, and she gave me two books, but I can't find anything in them that I enjoy playing.

So for a week now, its been just the Rainbow Song, scales, an arpeggio, and some cadences, and I'm bored to tears with the rest of it, but have another week before my next lesson and I get my Alfred's all in One level 1 book.

Any suggestions to keep the enthusiasm up, without driving my family crazy with the 150th round of The Rainbow Song?

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#1079041 - 01/20/09 10:32 PM Re: Newbie Advice
saerra Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/28/07
Posts: 842
Loc: Atlanta, GA
\:\) Ahhhh yes, I know what you mean.

I find it very difficult to work on pieces that I do not like or enjoy at all. I think this is true for most of people...

That said, there are different degrees of liking something (from "love it!" to "it's ok" to "hate it!"). I don't expect to love every piece, but I try to give a fair attempt at anything my teacher assigns... if I end up really hating it after that (it's happened!) - I'll let him know and we move on...

Trying to play something you hate is usually counter-productive, you don't enjoy, so you don't put as much effort or time into the practice, so it doesn't get better, so you are stuck with it another week... and so on. It's much better to let your teacher know, and find something you do enjoy and can learn from!

As far as how to still get something out of a piece that you've played 150 times ;\) --- I try to get very focused on little things I want to work on. Have you worked on the dynamics (loud versus soft sections)? Any articulations (accents, staccato, etc)? Has your teacher asked you to focus on any technical aspects (I'm working on not bouncing my wrist with the beat on a certain song, for example). If you like the piece, have you tried memorizing it, and then really listening to how it sounds when you play?

For me, finding little details to try to "perfect" helps me stay interested beyond the phase of, "ok, I can play all the notes, what's next!?"

Also, if you're up to it - you could start looking at how it's put together... what does the melody do, how does it move, do you know enough to start identifying chords and their functions?

Just some random thoughts... hope they help!

#1079042 - 01/20/09 11:22 PM Re: Newbie Advice
Mark... Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/27/06
Posts: 4446
Loc: Jersey Shore
I drove my wife nuts with many of the early pieces. But its part of paying your dues. Some of the stuff you might not like will have technique that helps in the long run.

2 years later I'm finally playing lots of stuff I like and my family likes also. I'm sure the Hanon and scale work I do now is also not fun to listen too.

I work nights and try to practice when the house is empty, except for my maestro mini Dachshund Freddie... \:D

#1079043 - 01/21/09 12:28 AM Re: Newbie Advice
accidental Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 01/18/09
Posts: 17
Loc: Garden City, MI
It's difficult to play pieces you don't really enjoy, but sometimes we have to look deeper into what we're trying to accomplish by learning these pieces.

Next time you get a lesson or a piece from your teacher, talk about what you're trying to learn from each piece. Once you know what you're looking for, you may find it more enjoyable to practice, because you have something to focus on other than learning to play a song you don't really enjoy.

Define the expectation up front, and it'll take away a lot of the frustration later on.

Good luck!


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