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Topic Options
#1081835 - 12/02/08 07:40 AM Not to Early to Think about those Resolutions
loveschopintoomuch Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/05/06
Posts: 4690
Loc: Illinois
Because I am bipolar that causes my mood to get rather negative and because I am a bit on the lazy side, I have been in one of those "on again - off again" practice modes. A few weeks will go by when I won't touch the piano, and then I will play everyday for 2-3 hours for many weeks. Needless to say, this routine hasn't done much for my progress.

I must add that I am racked with guilt and get depressed because of this, which also does nothing to break this cycle.

So...although it is just about a month away, I have already made just one New Year's resolution. That being that no matter what, I will practice at least one hour a day. And I will practice first[/b] before I charge up my computer. I can be quite stubborn and obstinate at times, so I hope these dubious qualities will be put to good use.

Have you thought about yours - those regarding your playing and/or practice?

Kathleen
_________________________
After playing Chopin, I feel as if I had been weeping over sins that I had never committed, and mourning over tragedies that were not my own." Oscar Wilde, 1891

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#1081836 - 12/02/08 08:08 AM Re: Not to Early to Think about those Resolutions
TrapperJohn Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/11/08
Posts: 3577
Loc: Chocolatetown, USA
I have resolved not to make any resolutions, and I am rather resolute about this.

Regards (and wondering if my statement is a kind of resolution in itself), JF
_________________________
Every difficulty slurred over will be a ghost to disturb your repose later on. Frederic Chopin

Current favorite bumper sticker: Wag more, bark less.

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#1081837 - 12/02/08 08:15 AM Re: Not to Early to Think about those Resolutions
loveschopintoomuch Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/05/06
Posts: 4690
Loc: Illinois
Ah...I think it is. \:D

Kathleen
_________________________
After playing Chopin, I feel as if I had been weeping over sins that I had never committed, and mourning over tragedies that were not my own." Oscar Wilde, 1891

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#1081838 - 12/02/08 08:15 AM Re: Not to Early to Think about those Resolutions
Chardonnay Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/12/07
Posts: 505
Loc: Boston, MA.
Kathleen,
You may want to reconsider and aim for 30 minutes minimum per day, rather than one hour- that way, you will constantly be surpassing your resolution, and that will be a mood-lifter! On the other hand, if you were to miss the one hour mark, it would be a downer.

My resolutions about practicing, (which I have already begun), include more sight reading practice, playing in front of others more often (to reduce performance jitters)- which may require begging and bribing people to actually sit and listen to me- also to keep some shorter, pop tunes in the rotation. I don't set a minimum time limit- for me, that would be hard to maintain, and would set the stage for discouragement. But I can see how it might work for others.

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#1081839 - 12/02/08 08:16 AM Re: Not to Early to Think about those Resolutions
majones Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/21/07
Posts: 331
Loc: Deep East Texas Piney Woods
After 73 years of living with myself, I too do not make New Year's resolutions.

That out of the way. Piano, or in my case, keyboard, is for enjoyment, if something else happens to be more enjoyable today, well, practice time takes second fiddle.

Of course practice time must come into the picture if we want to play music. I guess my point is I enjoy music, however, do not beat myself around the head and face if I miss a practice session.

I have a set time each day for practice, this seems to help. Your comment about practicing before hitting the Internet should work.

Have fun.

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#1081840 - 12/02/08 08:22 AM Re: Not to Early to Think about those Resolutions
loveschopintoomuch Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/05/06
Posts: 4690
Loc: Illinois
Chardonnay: You are very wise. And I really think your advice makes more sense and would be more enjoyable.

Rather than be so rigid, I would find my experience at the piano more fun if I could approach it each day with a different goal in mind. Some days, bringing out that music that I used to play and try to bring it back. On another day, perhaps just some sight reading (which I really like) and so on. Rather than plug away on the same piece, everyday, trying to get it perfect, I should give myself a break and follow where my inclinations lead me.

Thank you so much,

Fondly,
Kathleen
_________________________
After playing Chopin, I feel as if I had been weeping over sins that I had never committed, and mourning over tragedies that were not my own." Oscar Wilde, 1891

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#1081841 - 12/02/08 08:56 AM Re: Not to Early to Think about those Resolutions
sotto voce Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/15/06
Posts: 6163
Loc: Briarcliff Manor, NY, USA
nm
_________________________

"There are two means of refuge from the miseries of life: music and cats."
—Albert Schweitzer

Chopin: Allegro de Concert Op. 46
Schumann: Toccata Op. 7
Fauré: Ballade Op. 19

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#1081842 - 12/02/08 09:12 AM Re: Not to Early to Think about those Resolutions
Triryche Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/11/06
Posts: 1451
Loc: Milwaukee, Wisconsin
 Quote:
Originally posted by John Frank:
I have resolved not to make any resolutions, and I am rather resolute about this.

Regards (and wondering if my statement is a kind of resolution in itself), JF [/b]
JF, that is sorta like choosing not to decide (therefore making a choice).

For a split second I though this thread was about chord progressions, then I realized it’s that time of the year again.

My resolution is to finish pieces I start, unless they pan out of be out of my technical reach.

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#1081843 - 12/02/08 09:44 AM Re: Not to Early to Think about those Resolutions
Kymber Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/25/08
Posts: 1348
Loc: MA
When I have those moments when I don't feeling getting off the couch to practice -I tell myself just play for 5-10 minutes. That's ridiculously easy and hard to talk myself out of by saying I'm to tired etc (the goal is to get my butt of the couch). Once I am at the piano of course I am not going to play for only 5-10 min. I usually ends up being 30 min to an hour. Of course I am a little hyper (maybe ADD) and sometimes that hour is broken up (play for 15, get up and do something else-then play 20 more etc). If I told myself I was going to sit down for an hour I would go out of my mind.

As far as resolutions. Well I tend to try to improve myself and my life on a regular basis. But, this year I really REALLY need to get to bed at a reasonable hour so I can get up for work in the morning. I would love to get up early do some light exercises and practice piano a little before work.

I already started my eating right resolution the day after thanksgiving. I took a day for my pants not to fit anymore and three days to be able to get back into them.
_________________________
“The doubters said, "Man cannot fly," The doers said, "Maybe, but we'll try,"
And finally soared in the morning glow while non-believers watched from below.”
― Bruce Lee

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#1081844 - 12/02/08 11:06 AM Re: Not to Early to Think about those Resolutions
mom3gram Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/26/08
Posts: 1133
Loc: New Jersey
Like John Frank, I do not make New Years resolutions. I used to, and never kept them, and felt bad about it. I am a procrastinator and I've gotten worse over my 63 years, and don't need unfulfilled resolutions to get me down. But piano is still very new to me, so I do practice most days. In fact, it seems that I practice piano to avoid other important things that I should be doing.
_________________________
mom3gram

ALFRED'S ADULT BOOK 1 GRADUATE


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#1081845 - 12/02/08 11:06 AM Re: Not to Early to Think about those Resolutions
Triryche Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/11/06
Posts: 1451
Loc: Milwaukee, Wisconsin
 Quote:
Originally posted by Kymber:
I really REALLY need to get to bed at a reasonable hour so I can get up for work in the morning. [/b]
That is a constant struggle for me. I have been consistently sacrificing sleep to practice piano and guitar for over a year and it is definitely catching up to me.

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#1081846 - 12/02/08 11:19 AM Re: Not to Early to Think about those Resolutions
ddh Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/22/06
Posts: 458
Loc: Abitibi
Well, I'm retiring come january 1st \:D

So, after working 28 years on shifts (nights, days, weekends...) I will take some time to settle into a regular life routine before setting goals or taking resolutions; more and better structured parctice should be on the menu but how much leaves to be determined.

So, let's say MORE will be the word ;\)
_________________________
Daniel (Pramberger JP 208B)


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#1081847 - 12/02/08 11:57 AM Re: Not to Early to Think about those Resolutions
-Frycek Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/06/05
Posts: 5921
Loc: SC Mountains
Incorporate reviving and maintaining my old pieces into my practice routine so I actually develope a repertoire instead my current routine of learn, polish and forget
_________________________
Slow down and do it right.

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#1081848 - 12/02/08 12:05 PM Re: Not to Early to Think about those Resolutions
LaValse Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/21/07
Posts: 1224
Loc: Mumbles, Wales
To try and instantiate further the concept of don't practice mistakes and its implications.
_________________________
http://uk.youtube.com/user/sailwavedev

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#1081849 - 12/02/08 12:10 PM Re: Not to Early to Think about those Resolutions
mom3gram Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/26/08
Posts: 1133
Loc: New Jersey
I think that is a great goal, Frycek. I know that after working hard to learn a piece, I don't like the idea of forgetting how to play it. To me, what's the point of learning it if I'm only going to forget and never play it again. (I'm not talking about lessons and exercises).

Of course, it's always great to learn something new, but if you are playing for your own pleasure, you should definitely have a repertoire of music that you can just enjoy "playing" as opposed to "practicing".
_________________________
mom3gram

ALFRED'S ADULT BOOK 1 GRADUATE


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#1081850 - 12/02/08 12:28 PM Re: Not to Early to Think about those Resolutions
Euan Morrison Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/01/05
Posts: 1588
Loc: Edinburgh
I'm on the same page as JFrank on this one - don't think I will be making any!

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#1081851 - 12/02/08 12:44 PM Re: Not to Early to Think about those Resolutions
Evan G Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 10/17/08
Posts: 18
Loc: Victoria, B.C.
I have a planning oriented background in my professional life, and that has worked it's way into my personal life. Each December, I develop a two to three page document that lists different areas of life--financial, fitness, family, health, etc. Within each area I ask myself what I want to accomplish (in the next year or over several years) and then what I need to do to get there. From that exercise, I end up with two to four objectives within each area. I don't call them resolutions because to me a resolution is a short-term wish with no discipline or plan behind it that will soon be forgotten.

It's my first year for piano, so I will likely end up with objectives around beginning to develop a repertoire, consistent practicing (six out of seven days per week?), maybe an objective to learn a particular challenging piece, etc.

OK...I'm probably a bit obsessive about this but it works for me!

Evan
_________________________
A man is not old until regrets take the place of his dreams.

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#1081852 - 12/02/08 06:06 PM Re: Not to Early to Think about those Resolutions
Larisa Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/03/08
Posts: 498
Loc: Philadelphia
I make monthly resolutions; my piano-related resolution this month is to do one Pischna exercise and one Brahms exercise every day (except Saturday - I only practice 6 days a week). I have to work on my technique.

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#1081853 - 12/02/08 07:36 PM Re: Not to Early to Think about those Resolutions
charliemarley Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 07/14/08
Posts: 13
Loc: New Hampshire
Evan,
Are you an accountant by chance?
I also prepare an annual plan that includes household projects, professional development, finances, fitness and of course piano. I use an Excel workbook to help keep me organized. This method has helped me to run a marathon without sacrificing all my other interests. I revisit my plan often during the year and tweak it a bit here and there.
For the piano portion of my plan I list sheet music to purchase, pieces that I would like to learn, concerts of inspirational musicians and books on music and piano to read. I meet with my piano teacher once a week for an hour and she pretty much motivates me to practice daily. I mean who wants to play lousy in front of their teacher?
I'm in my second year of piano lessons and sometimes it is hard to find the time to practice, but if I just sit down and start a scale I'm instantly transported and play for at least an hour and a half.
Charlie
_________________________
Never allow someone to be your
priority while allowing yourself to be their option.
~charliemarley~

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#1081854 - 12/03/08 10:58 AM Re: Not to Early to Think about those Resolutions
timeturner Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/03/08
Posts: 26
My piano related ones are:

1) I will be able to play Shendoah level 1 by the end of the year.
2) I will be encouraged by the talent in this forum rather than be intimidated.
3) I will participate in the next recital even if I can do nothing more elaborate than Twinkle Twinkle Little Star because it will remind me that I am a part of something much bigger than myself.
4) I will record my playing one time each month so that, in a year, I can look back and see my progress on those days when I feel discouraged.

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#1081855 - 12/03/08 12:40 PM Re: Not to Early to Think about those Resolutions
Evan G Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 10/17/08
Posts: 18
Loc: Victoria, B.C.
 Quote:
Originally posted by charliemarley:
Evan,
Are you an accountant by chance?
I also prepare an annual plan that includes household projects, professional development, finances, fitness and of course piano. I use an Excel workbook to help keep me organized. This method has helped me to run a marathon without sacrificing all my other interests. I revisit my plan often during the year and tweak it a bit here and there.
For the piano portion of my plan I list sheet music to purchase, pieces that I would like to learn, concerts of inspirational musicians and books on music and piano to read.
Charlie [/b]
Charlie,
Good guess! I haven't done accounting work for a long time, but I do have that backgound.

It sounds like you're well beyond me in the detail of your plans. I just use a word document at this point. I started out a number of years ago with one page and now I'm up to several. I might have to make the change to excel as you have. It would certainly provide more flexibility in doing lists, dates, sorting, prioritizing, etc.

Evan
_________________________
A man is not old until regrets take the place of his dreams.

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#1081856 - 12/03/08 04:15 PM Re: Not to Early to Think about those Resolutions
Mark... Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/27/06
Posts: 4380
Loc: Jersey Shore
Keep up with MOYD for another year.
Improve with counting.
Finish Hanon
Have all major and minor scales down pat.
Play better

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#1081857 - 12/03/08 04:42 PM Re: Not to Early to Think about those Resolutions
RobM Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/23/08
Posts: 112
Loc: Plymouth, Devon, UK
I don't really make 'resolutions' per se, as I think these are generally long-forgotten by the time February rolls around! That being said, I do often have long term goals so I suppose the sway of a new year could be the kick that I need to try and achieve some of them.....

Non-piano:
1) Same as Kymber - I need to get more beauty sleep! :p
2) Eat healthier. I've already managed to give up eating desserts Mon-Fri and I've stuck to going to the gym 3 times a week (more or less) for almost a year now. But I'm aware that my diet could be far healthier than it is at the moment.

Piano related:
1) Start recording videos of my playing and upload them to youTube
2) Branch out into some other genres of piano to get myself out of my 'comfort zone' and pick up some new techniques.
3) Same as Mark....play better! \:D
_________________________
"All my life I've had one dream: to achieve my many goals." - Homer Simpson

My Videos: http://www.youtube.com/MastahUK

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#1081858 - 12/04/08 04:14 AM Re: Not to Early to Think about those Resolutions
bruceee Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/04/05
Posts: 317
Loc: Wellington, New Zealand
I am another who long ago resolved to not to make new year resolutions.

But instead, if you have a habit that needs to change, why not start today[/b] -- OK, OK, tomorrow if you must. :p

For practice, why not make the rule at least 5 minutes each day (Kymber's suggestion). At the end of that 5 minutes, if your mind is not on the job, flag it away for the day. But usually you will end up with a lot more than 5 minutes.

My practice is like this at the moment:
* Polish the two major pieces I have had on the go for at least the last year.
* Learn a little more of my new piece
* Play through my previous pieces to keep them current -- working in particular on rough spots.
* If at any point, I feel things aren't going well, or I get bored, I move on to something else. Or quit for that session.

All this is music I love so it's usually no hardship playing it. No scales or sight-reading in any of this. I find a session like this extends to about an hour -- two hours on a good day.

As amateurs, we will never get perfection. I strive for perfection but will accept adequate. "Adequate is good enough".

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#1081859 - 12/04/08 07:08 AM Re: Not to Early to Think about those Resolutions
cruiser Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/19/07
Posts: 1171
Loc: Cornwall, England
What Frycek said, plus....

I'm going to spend a few months with the emphasis away from 'classical' piano and its associated frustrations. My intention is to try and learn a handful of modern, lighter pieces... new-age, Celtic, Moon River! ...etc. I've just made a start with Jim Brickman's 'Angel Eyes'. I can't even play 'Happy birthday to you', for goodness sakes! :rolleyes:

...oh yes, and improve my sight-reading!

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#1081860 - 12/04/08 07:46 AM Re: Not to Early to Think about those Resolutions
loveschopintoomuch Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/05/06
Posts: 4690
Loc: Illinois
Hi Cruiser:

I LOVE "Angel Eyes." I have a book called "Simply Beautiful Piano," which contains oodles of the old-time standards, written with updated, sort-of, but not quite, jazzy arrangements of:

When I Fall in Love
I Only Have Eyes For You
Once in A While
Soon
Someone To Watch Over Me
Don't Blame Me
Angel Eyes
But Beautiful
Be Still MY Foolish Heart
Here's That Rainy Day

and many more. Let me you if you are interested, and I'll give you more information. These arrangement can make you sound like one of those piano-bar pianists. \:D Just think of all those tips you'll be getting. :p

And I concur with so many of you. I am going to devote most of my practice time getting those pieces that have slipped away, back. I could just cry when I look at them. Why have I let them slip into oblivion?? \:\(

And only concentrate on learning one semi-difficult piece at a time, working on the "fractures" first and not constantly playing them from start to finish, over and over and over again.

My best,
Kathleen
_________________________
After playing Chopin, I feel as if I had been weeping over sins that I had never committed, and mourning over tragedies that were not my own." Oscar Wilde, 1891

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#1081861 - 12/04/08 09:13 AM Re: Not to Early to Think about those Resolutions
RatMan Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/03/08
Posts: 243
Loc: Bonneville Salt Flats
 Quote:
Originally posted by bruceee:
I am another who long ago resolved to not to make new year resolutions.

But instead, if you have a habit that needs to change, why not start today[/b] -- OK, OK, tomorrow if you must. :p



As amateurs, we will never get perfection. I strive for perfection but will accept adequate. "Adequate is good enough". [/b]
I think daily resolution is far better than one made once a year. To further what Rob M said, a resolution made at the beginning of January and degraded by mid-month, then discarded by February and totally forgotten by March isn't much good to me. For those who can make plans, goals and resolutions and stick to them, my hat's off to you. I've found that the saying, "If you want to make God laugh, tell Him your plans" seems to be very appropriate as it pertains to my life.

So I try to play a little better each time I sit down at my Hammond or strap the bass around my neck (maybe I otta resolve not to strangle myself with it...) It might just be a very small improvement...and sometimes there are those days when I'd make a better carpenter than musician...and I try to accept those.

The important thing for me is to remember the overall goal. To enjoy making music. That's my goal. Probably not the same as others, but that doesn't matter to me. I'm old enough that I think a career as a musician is unlikely (although I seem to be heading toward semi-pro photography.) So I'll just keep that in mind this year; try to journal a bit about my progress and above all, do my best to keep music a pleasure, not a drudge...every day that it's possible. (Hard to play the Hammond when out on the salt flats.)
_________________________
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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#1081862 - 12/04/08 01:31 PM Re: Not to Early to Think about those Resolutions
gabytu Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/26/05
Posts: 1522
Loc: Portland, Or.
I am going to follow Frycek's excellent lead. I will resurect pieces once learned and then forgotten. Also, I will work on pieces that I have only half learned. I have dozens of those. I have a number of compositions that I have set aside because certain sections were too difficult for me. I will isolate the difficulties, work on them, and hopefully, get the entire piece learned.

I agree with those who don't believe in resolutions. Therefore, this is a plan, not a resolution. Gaby Tu

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