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#1279956 - 10/03/09 12:48 PM Re: I know how mistakes happen! [Re: keyboardklutz]
gooddog Offline
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Registered: 06/08/08
Posts: 4806
Loc: Seattle area, WA
Originally Posted By: keyboardklutz
Agreed. I'm talking about practice mistakes when learning. Ideally we learn everything 100% correct. Stuff does creep in though and I'm giving one rationale for some of them. I suppose you need to have had the 'fixed a mistake only to have it move a beat or two away' experience.


Ignoring the argument...

I had exactly this problem in the Bach D minor concerto. I fixed the error with hundreds of repetitions but then it moved forward a measure. I think the problem may be due to anticipation of the troubling passage and than relief that we got through it causing a loss of focus.
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#1279959 - 10/03/09 12:51 PM Re: I know how mistakes happen! [Re: Barb860]
keyboardklutz Offline
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Originally Posted By: Barb860

Yes, I can relate to this post. I believe it's the anxiety that causes tension, which in turn leads to practicing our mistakes.
So we have to lose the anxiety by practicing in the zone, in complete relaxation, in those passages where mistakes have occurred previously.
Yes, but the point is it's the non-conscious looking for a mistake that's no longer there that causes it anxiety - correcting any old thing assuages that.
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#1279961 - 10/03/09 12:55 PM Re: I know how mistakes happen! [Re: gooddog]
keyboardklutz Offline
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Originally Posted By: gooddog


Ignoring the argument...

I had exactly this problem in the Bach D minor concerto. I fixed the error with hundreds of repetitions but then it moved forward a measure. I think the problem may be due to anticipation of the troubling passage and than relief that we got through it causing a loss of focus.
Close, but wrong (I don't think the non-conscious loses focus). Exactly what I am explaining - you had programmed your non-conscious to fix a mistake, so it fixed a mistake (even though there wasn't one any more).
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#1279966 - 10/03/09 01:03 PM Re: I know how mistakes happen! [Re: Nyiregyhazi]
jazzyprof Offline
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Registered: 11/30/04
Posts: 2637
Loc: Ann Arbor, MI
Originally Posted By: Nyiregyhazi

The only assured way to get to that stage is through the conscious thought-processes. It's just a matter of going slowly enough that you don't have to choose between between one thing or the other, in order to set the right habits.

Along those lines, a useful piece of advice I found in a book: "Hesitate rather than err." In learning a piece be sure to play so slowly that your brain is always directing your fingers to the right notes. If ever there is doubt, hesitate, figure out the right note and then play it. Any time you play a wrong note you are imprinting your inner computer with that error.
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"Playing the piano is my greatest joy...period."......JP

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#1279969 - 10/03/09 01:05 PM Re: I know how mistakes happen! [Re: jazzyprof]
keyboardklutz Offline
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Prof that's great, but nothing to do with this thread. It's about how mistakes happen not how to prevent them.
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#1279982 - 10/03/09 01:35 PM Re: I know how mistakes happen! [Re: keyboardklutz]
Minniemay Offline
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Mistakes occur because we send either incorrect or incomplete messages from the eye to the brain to the hand.

Correcting mistakes requires giving our brains the correct, complete information and then rehearsing the correct thought/action.
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#1279983 - 10/03/09 01:40 PM Re: I know how mistakes happen! [Re: Minniemay]
keyboardklutz Offline
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But who is that we?
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#1279987 - 10/03/09 01:49 PM Re: I know how mistakes happen! [Re: keyboardklutz]
theJourney Offline
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Registered: 02/22/07
Posts: 3946
Loc: Banned
Originally Posted By: keyboardklutz
Close, but wrong (I don't think the non-conscious loses focus).


That might just be your problem, kbk: You are thinking / not thinking and letting the mini-you bandwidth of your conscious mind confabulate to its heart's, er, to it's mind's content rather than listening to your heart, your tummy, your intuition, the wisdom of your un/sub/nonconscious you...

To much thinking and too little experiencing?

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#1279990 - 10/03/09 01:52 PM Re: I know how mistakes happen! [Re: theJourney]
keyboardklutz Offline
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You mean maybe I don't get out enough?
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#1279998 - 10/03/09 01:59 PM Re: I know how mistakes happen! [Re: Joe H.]
Barb860 Offline
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Registered: 04/11/09
Posts: 1646
Loc: northern California
Originally Posted By: Joe H.
Though I hate applying scientific principles to music, I believe this subject would be served well by it.

There are two main sections of the brain that handle the process of learning a piece and developing it to the point of perfection (or something close to it). The 'thinking' section (neo-cortex), and the 'instinctual' section (lymbyc). The 'thinking' section is in charge of all conscious thoughts and efforts, which we use to process anything new to our minds, like the first time you had to tie your shoes, or brush your teeth, or ride a bike, or learn a new piece.

As we do something over and over again the brain shifts these tasks over to the lymbyc brain, which is a purely instinctual, unconscious part of the brain. This is where our body language, reflexes, emotions and instincts reside, things that we just do without thinking, like brushing your teeth, riding a bike, etc. This explains why if you play a new piece enough times, you begin playing it without thinking. Some people call this muscle memory. If you learn a piece with mistakes included, the lymbyc brain thinks these 'mistakes' are correct. So the only way to fix them is to re-employ the neo-cortex for these sections. You have to isolate the mistakes, and practice them repeatedly with conscious and deliberate attention until the correct rendition gets transfered back to the lymbyc side, and wah-lah, fixed.

Interesting side note: this also explains why you have to truly 'know' a piece before you can inject true emotion into it, because the process has to be controlled by the lymbyc side, due to the fact that emotion comes from the lymbyc side.

In short, think when you need to learn and fix, don't think when it's time to truly play.


This sounds like discussion of "self 1 and self 2" in Barry Green's "Inner Game of Music", the right and left brain thing?
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#1279999 - 10/03/09 02:01 PM Re: I know how mistakes happen! [Re: keyboardklutz]
theJourney Offline
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Not you, your non-conscious. Set it free!

"Accidents are no accidents. Like everything else in our lives, we create them. Accidents are expressions of anger. They indicate built-up frustrations resulting from not feeling the freedom to speak up for one's self."
Louise Hay

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#1280001 - 10/03/09 02:02 PM Re: I know how mistakes happen! [Re: gooddog]
Barb860 Offline
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Registered: 04/11/09
Posts: 1646
Loc: northern California
Originally Posted By: gooddog
Originally Posted By: keyboardklutz
Agreed. I'm talking about practice mistakes when learning. Ideally we learn everything 100% correct. Stuff does creep in though and I'm giving one rationale for some of them. I suppose you need to have had the 'fixed a mistake only to have it move a beat or two away' experience.


Ignoring the argument...

I had exactly this problem in the Bach D minor concerto. I fixed the error with hundreds of repetitions but then it moved forward a measure. I think the problem may be due to anticipation of the troubling passage and than relief that we got through it causing a loss of focus.


Exactly what I was trying to say earlier, thank you Deborah for saying it much better. It's the anticipation of the troubling passage that causes anxiety, followed by "relief" that we got through the passage which in turn causes lack of focus. This is it, IMO. Practice in the zone to eliminate the anticipation and anxiety in the first place.
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#1280002 - 10/03/09 02:04 PM Re: I know how mistakes happen! [Re: theJourney]
eweiss Offline
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Registered: 02/28/09
Posts: 2393
Loc: Beautiful San Diego, CA
Originally Posted By: theJourney
Not you, your non-conscious. Set it free!

"Accidents are no accidents. Like everything else in our lives, we create them. Accidents are expressions of anger. They indicate built-up frustrations resulting from not feeling the freedom to speak up for one's self."
Louise Hay

I hear Louise Hay just wrote a new book. The title? "Heal Your Piano!"
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#1280003 - 10/03/09 02:05 PM Re: I know how mistakes happen! [Re: Barb860]
keyboardklutz Offline
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Originally Posted By: Barb860
Practice in the zone to eliminate the anticipation and anxiety in the first place.
This thread is not about how to eliminate mistakes!
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#1280005 - 10/03/09 02:05 PM Re: I know how mistakes happen! [Re: keyboardklutz]
Barb860 Offline
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Registered: 04/11/09
Posts: 1646
Loc: northern California
Originally Posted By: keyboardklutz
Originally Posted By: Barb860

Yes, I can relate to this post. I believe it's the anxiety that causes tension, which in turn leads to practicing our mistakes.
So we have to lose the anxiety by practicing in the zone, in complete relaxation, in those passages where mistakes have occurred previously.
Yes, but the point is it's the non-conscious looking for a mistake that's no longer there that causes it anxiety - correcting any old thing assuages that.


How do you know it's the "non-conscious" looking for a mistake?
I thought the non-conscious doesn't look for anything.


Edited by Barb860 (10/03/09 02:07 PM)
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#1280009 - 10/03/09 02:07 PM Re: I know how mistakes happen! [Re: Barb860]
keyboardklutz Offline
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Registered: 05/21/07
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Loc: London, UK (though if it's Aug...
Originally Posted By: Barb860

I thought the non-consious doesn't look for anything.
I had assumed that's what you thought.
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http://keyboardclass.blogspot.com/


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#1280010 - 10/03/09 02:08 PM Re: I know how mistakes happen! [Re: keyboardklutz]
jazzyprof Offline
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Registered: 11/30/04
Posts: 2637
Loc: Ann Arbor, MI
Originally Posted By: keyboardklutz
Prof that's great, but nothing to do with this thread. It's about how mistakes happen not how to prevent them.
Ooops, sorry, my mistake.
_________________________
"Playing the piano is my greatest joy...period."......JP

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#1280011 - 10/03/09 02:08 PM Re: I know how mistakes happen! [Re: keyboardklutz]
Barb860 Offline
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Registered: 04/11/09
Posts: 1646
Loc: northern California
Originally Posted By: keyboardklutz
Originally Posted By: Barb860

I thought the non-consious doesn't look for anything.
I had assumed that of you.


KBK, excuse me, can you please elaborate? Sorry, but your post has a bit of an attitude.
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#1280017 - 10/03/09 02:15 PM Re: I know how mistakes happen! [Re: keyboardklutz]
Betty Patnude Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/11/07
Posts: 4896
Loc: Puyallup, Washington
I know how mistakes happen!

We don't train to detailed thinking in our formative basic skills and basic notation.

If we just look, we just see. If we think and say as we play we are using "glue" to "cement" our decisions into physical reacations. We need to combine mind with body impulses and gestures.

1) Music from the page translates to
2) Keyboard locations to be played with
3) Efficient fingering, (impulse)
4) Producing effective sounds
5) Accurately
6) As well as being measured for durations placed within a metered system of beats.

This is a huge ball of wax! Each step of the way requires a thought. Over time, this "calculation" becomes instantaneous from the subconscious which has been trained to respond in swift reaction to what is seen on the paper.

Reading music requires a new "calculation" each time we move the eye forward on the page to the next beat. The "calculation" has a systematic process to it.

What causes a mistake?
1) Being uncertain about what is being seen. Playing anyway.

2) Digital confusion - the impulses go awry. The circuitry has not been put into place by slow, deliberate thought and action.

3) No sense of a steady beat, no sense of where the "play" is placed in time, no sense of it's duration. Starts and stops in motion.

4) Not using the "system" of thinking but mixing up the order, or ignoring the order, or not even doing the order or being aware of it. The incompleteness of this system of "decoding" will lead to random abstract poking at the piano in attempts to place the hand. It always falls apart if the student does not have the ability to move the hand to a "target" on the keyboard. Not understanding "registers" of the keyboard/music staff will get you every time.

So I think that mistakes are totally preventable with a strong beginning year(s) functional study of the keyboard, the music staff, and the human being's involvement with how he/she must think and behave at the instrument if they are to develope excellent musicianship skills.

We do not teach to musicianship skills for the most part because
students goals include enjoyment and satisfaction of what they are hearing in their playing. This is an area of "ego satisfaction". The area of "acquired skills" and :self-discipline" is a hard sell these days with our students.

Add to that the busyness of people's lives and you have little to no practice. Not that the practice being done was the right kind or enough. Students want to be able to play through a few times and have this really tremendous result immediately with no mistakes.

However, it requires diligence, persistance, awareness, correction and great attitude to arrive at being a confident, accurate and independent musician.

We are all caught up in the problem area of piano training as we knew it not being a popular thing to be doing in these days of instant results and gratification.

Maybe if we could focus back to the days prior to all our improvements when man walked the earth one step at a time and work was accomplished one brick at a time, planting one seed in one row of corn at a time, we would see that the "drudgery" and "repetitiousness" and "boredom" paid off well for our ancestors until today when we have machinery doing just about everything for us and technology giving us instant results.

That is not how it goes with learning a skill set.

Instant is temporary and over in a flash - a spark that burned itself out. It was hard to maintain sparking. At some point the flint was weakened and responsed only some of the time, at some point it became unstrikable. The spark was lost.

Think about muscle building with a building up that is kept and maintained through constant use, starting with a small task and incorporating other small tasks, moving to medium tasks, to difficult tasks requiring hours of stamina.

The brain and the body of a pianist are developed more like the muscle model. It has long term involvement and long term results.

The mistake making applies as much to our contemporary approach to music teaching as it does to our lack of understanding about how the brain and muscle memory would enhance our abilities at the piano to do everything that music requires of us.

Thus, little to no mistakes, but instead huge competency of the operating of a musical mind on the music page and the beauty of the music being placed from the hands and mind of the pianist onto the keyboard. Ownership!

Having the perspective of a musician can only be accomplished when one has become a musician in every sense of the word.

Betty Patnude

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#1280018 - 10/03/09 02:15 PM Re: I know how mistakes happen! [Re: Barb860]
keyboardklutz Offline
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Barb, most people, like Descartes, don't credit the non-conscious with the ability to make choices.
_________________________
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http://keyboardclass.blogspot.com/


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#1280019 - 10/03/09 02:19 PM Re: I know how mistakes happen! [Re: keyboardklutz]
Barb860 Offline
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Registered: 04/11/09
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Loc: northern California
Originally Posted By: keyboardklutz
Barb, most people, like Descartes, don't credit the non-conscious with decision making ability.


Thank you for your clarification.
I took offense to what you said earlier. We can easily misinterpret the context of what folks are saying.
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#1280023 - 10/03/09 02:25 PM Re: I know how mistakes happen! [Re: keyboardklutz]
tangleweeds Offline

Silver Supporter until Jan 11 2012


Registered: 12/21/08
Posts: 1269
Loc: Portlandia
I also experience the problem where relief at getting past the usual trouble spot disrupts my concentration, so I make another mistake just past the "standard mistake".

I think that the bigger problem is that mistake prone sections generate a habitual disruption of the smooth flow of my attention from brain to fingers in that particular point in the piece.

Because I have learned that I tend to glitch in certain places, I develop the habit of tensing up as I approach that area, and get high-strung and perhaps a bit panicky. What's happening that section becomes a habitual trigger of dysfunctional biochemistry in my brain.

My layman's understanding is that adrenaline and stress hormones actually cause clumsiness in fine-motor coordination, as they are meant to prime the body for gross muscular action in fight-or-flight responses.

I can, by force of will, practice hard and prevent the primary mistake that I expect. But because my physical stress breeds clumsiness, I'm still more likely to glitch something else in the stressful section.

I've found that using consciously learned and applied meditation-style relaxation responses in such sections helps a lot, used alongside the usual analysis of what goes wrong, and subsequent practice to "splint the fracture". OTOH, using repeated practice all by itself just tends to shift the location of the mistake around by a few notes.

Because of this learned tension response, I have always hated it when my teacher writes some sort of big circle or other stress-inducing markings on my sheet music at my trouble spots. I much prefer to mark these spots discreetly in pencil, and so that I can erase the markings when I've smoothed out the problem in this spot. I feel like having a permanent mark on the score makes it into more of a permanent problem.

It's not as though I make a mistake in that spot because I'm *forgetting* to pay attention there, and I need a big mark to wake me up. I think the problem is that I make mistakes because I've learned to tense up and panic at these spots, and having an alarming scrawl on the page to mark it just makes things worse.
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#1280024 - 10/03/09 02:25 PM Re: I know how mistakes happen! [Re: keyboardklutz]
keyboardklutz Offline
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Betty, you need to check the causes of your causes. In my case, I think, the cause is an idea that won't die.
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#1280028 - 10/03/09 02:38 PM Re: I know how mistakes happen! [Re: keyboardklutz]
Nyiregyhazi Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/24/09
Posts: 2464
Originally Posted By: keyboardklutz
Originally Posted By: Barb860

Yes, I can relate to this post. I believe it's the anxiety that causes tension, which in turn leads to practicing our mistakes.
So we have to lose the anxiety by practicing in the zone, in complete relaxation, in those passages where mistakes have occurred previously.
Yes, but the point is it's the non-conscious looking for a mistake that's no longer there that causes it anxiety - correcting any old thing assuages that.


Yes, but the point is that this is a completely made up theory based on no evidence. Plus it has no practical implications that you have raised. Why on earth should the subconscious tell you to play a random note differently? All this shows is that the passage was not as securely set as you thought. Spend more time thinking and being sure to play it correctly and the problem will be solved. Confidence comes have prepared something properly. If faint anxiety about a former wrong note is enough to throw the rest, it wasn't as properly set as you thought.


Edited by Nyiregyhazi (10/03/09 02:49 PM)
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#1280030 - 10/03/09 02:41 PM Re: I know how mistakes happen! [Re: keyboardklutz]
Nyiregyhazi Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/24/09
Posts: 2464
Originally Posted By: keyboardklutz
Originally Posted By: Barb860
Practice in the zone to eliminate the anticipation and anxiety in the first place.
This thread is not about how to eliminate mistakes!


So you have even BANNED any posters from making any practical applications? So exactly WHAT IS the purpose of this thread? To come up with speculative pieces of nonsense?
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#1280032 - 10/03/09 02:52 PM Re: I know how mistakes happen! [Re: Nyiregyhazi]
Betty Patnude Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/11/07
Posts: 4896
Loc: Puyallup, Washington
Will some of you take your lousy confrontations to private message please and avoid contaminating a perfectly valid topic.

It is serving no purpose for the common good of others posting here nor to the topic under discussion and becomes a hindrance to intelligent discourse as one has to wade through the jibberish.

If you want respect, post with clearly stated comments that don't involve sarcasm and one-upmanship and your egos.

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#1280040 - 10/03/09 03:06 PM Re: I know how mistakes happen! [Re: Betty Patnude]
keyboardklutz Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/21/07
Posts: 10856
Loc: London, UK (though if it's Aug...
Sorry Betty but this guy isn't going to rest till this forum is as nasty and uncivil as many of the others on the web.
_________________________
snobbyish, yet maybe helpful.
http://keyboardclass.blogspot.com/


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#1280047 - 10/03/09 03:24 PM Re: I know how mistakes happen! [Re: tangleweeds]
theJourney Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/22/07
Posts: 3946
Loc: Banned
Originally Posted By: tangleweeds
I also experience the problem where relief at getting past the usual trouble spot disrupts my concentration, so I make another mistake just past the "standard mistake".

I think that the bigger problem is that mistake prone sections generate a habitual disruption of the smooth flow of my attention from brain to fingers in that particular point in the piece.

Because I have learned that I tend to glitch in certain places, I develop the habit of tensing up as I approach that area, and get high-strung and perhaps a bit panicky. What's happening that section becomes a habitual trigger of dysfunctional biochemistry in my brain.

My layman's understanding is that adrenaline and stress hormones actually cause clumsiness in fine-motor coordination, as they are meant to prime the body for gross muscular action in fight-or-flight responses.

I can, by force of will, practice hard and prevent the primary mistake that I expect. But because my physical stress breeds clumsiness, I'm still more likely to glitch something else in the stressful section.

I've found that using consciously learned and applied meditation-style relaxation responses in such sections helps a lot, used alongside the usual analysis of what goes wrong, and subsequent practice to "splint the fracture". OTOH, using repeated practice all by itself just tends to shift the location of the mistake around by a few notes.

Because of this learned tension response, I have always hated it when my teacher writes some sort of big circle or other stress-inducing markings on my sheet music at my trouble spots. I much prefer to mark these spots discreetly in pencil, and so that I can erase the markings when I've smoothed out the problem in this spot. I feel like having a permanent mark on the score makes it into more of a permanent problem.

It's not as though I make a mistake in that spot because I'm *forgetting* to pay attention there, and I need a big mark to wake me up. I think the problem is that I make mistakes because I've learned to tense up and panic at these spots, and having an alarming scrawl on the page to mark it just makes things worse.



Some very good observations and insights here.

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#1280053 - 10/03/09 03:36 PM Re: I know how mistakes happen! [Re: keyboardklutz]
Nyiregyhazi Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/24/09
Posts: 2464
Originally Posted By: keyboardklutz
Sorry Betty but this guy isn't going to rest till this forum is as nasty and uncivil as many of the others on the web.


Actually, any sarcastic tone on my part was intended in response to the characteristically rude way in which you have been responding to a host of other posters who attempted to offer something of value to the discussion (only for you to insist that 'your' thread is not permitted to turn into one that has any practical connotations). I would vastly prefer a civil tone, rather than one in which you so rudely talk down and attempt to downplay the comments from a variety of different posters who had something to contribute. Many posters have come out with very good insights here, only to be faced with your characteristic tendency to dismiss their greater level of understanding as though they had actually come out with something of no significance whatsoever- before you then go on to speak in vague rhetorical irrelevances that you seem to think are more important. It's very hard to remain 'civil' when seeing your persistent rudeness to virtually every other poster.

eg.

"A little simplistic. The limbic brain is not like a whiteboard, you can't just wipe stuff off and replace it with other stuff. Love the wah-lah though."

He didn't even say that you can 'wipe stuff off'. He simply said that you need to make a new program. I find it most amusing that you seem to feel a continual need to portray yourself as a greater authority, when you clearly don't possess so much as a fraction of that poster's knowledge upon the subject. Who do you think you are, to constantly attempt to correct people on matters that you don't even have any great knowledge upon? Why don't you stop to listen to such insightful advice, instead of trying to portray youself as master of 'your' thread?

How about:

"Close, but wrong (I don't think the non-conscious loses focus). Exactly what I am explaining - you had programmed your non-conscious to fix a mistake, so it fixed a mistake (even though there wasn't one any more)."

I think that speaks for itself, without even going into the fundamental misunderstanding of how the 'programming' works. I'd like to see the evidence that the non-conscious will make a random adjustment to a random note, thinking that will 'correct' something. Pure conjecture. Yet you sincerely seek to 'correct' somebody, based on such guff?

I'm not in the habit of being rude to people for the sake of it. However, when I see others who are, neither am I in the habit of holding back from responding.


Edited by Nyiregyhazi (10/03/09 04:01 PM)
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#1280055 - 10/03/09 03:41 PM Re: I know how mistakes happen! [Re: keyboardklutz]
Joe H. Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 09/13/09
Posts: 11
Originally Posted By: keyboardklutz
Originally Posted By: Joe H.
You have to isolate the mistakes, and practice them repeatedly with conscious and deliberate attention until the correct rendition gets transfered back to the lymbyc side, and wah-lah, fixed.
A little simplistic. The limbic brain is not like a whiteboard, you can't just wipe stuff off and replace it with other stuff. Love the wah-lah though.


It IS that simple. Changing a habitual mistake, is the same as changing any habit. It may not be easy, but it is simple. Quitting smoking is one of the hardest things to do. It requires conscious effort not reach for a cigarette after you eat, or not light one up when you have a drink. You have to keep doing that until the habit disappears, i.e. your limbic brain doesn't reach for cigarette. It may appear complicated because people try all sorts of methods like nicotine gum, hypnotism, etc. But in the end it's the reprogramming of your limbic system that ultimately kills a habit.

You could try all sorts of practice methods to erase a mistake but in the end it's just a matter of simply re-programming the limbic through concentrated isolation and repetition.

Barb, I'm unaware of Barry Green's "Inner Game of Music" but it sounds like it is the same idea.

By the way KeyboardKlutz, Nyir is a little emotional, but you do come off as pompous and smug in your posts. I can't blame him for getting aggravated. You seem intelligent, but maybe a little effort in tact would serve you well? Just a suggestion. eek Also, if this post isn't about eliminating mistakes, what is it about?

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