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#1281773 - 10/06/09 01:13 PM Re: I know how mistakes happen! [Re: keyboardklutz]
Morodiene Online   content
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Originally Posted By: keyboardklutz
Again Morodiene you are getting side tracked. If you really want a side track how the amygdala 'lights up' perceptions to re-enforce their retention is a good one. How do we get students to emote over what we wish to get into their memories and not emote over errors? I know Tony Buzan uses colours.

This whole thread seems sidetracked, so why not?

They first have to realize that they've actually solved the error. Psychological barriers happen all the time in singing and can prevent a singer from singing a high B-flat that they've done time and time again in other contexts without issue. As I said, it has to do with the approach. You cannot unlearn something, but you have to learn a new reaction. The best way to do this is to think about the meaning of that passage. Is it fear? Probably not, and therefore it has no place in the piece. They must understand what emotion is in the passage to replace the fear.

Now there are certain techniques to emote in performing, but again, that is a side issue. In general, a performer can be in love mode or fear mode. The two cannot coexist in that person at a given moment. Either you are loving the audience enough to be completely open or you fear them and thus shut down any possibility of emoting. You are then only trying to get through with the right notes, and thus, have no room for emoting. Again, it has to do with creating a bridge to a new place, and not going on the old, dilapidated one that always leads you to where you do not wish to go.
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#1281784 - 10/06/09 01:31 PM Re: I know how mistakes happen! [Re: Morodiene]
keyboardklutz Offline
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I'm not quite quite sure you get the subtlety of memory Morodienne. All memory is filtered by emotion. Every memory you have, no matter how tiny, is there because it means something to you emotionally, whether its a shopping list or a bar of a concerto. As putters-of-memories-in-other-people people we need to zoom in on this.
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#1281787 - 10/06/09 01:36 PM Re: I know how mistakes happen! [Re: keyboardklutz]
Morodiene Online   content
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Originally Posted By: keyboardklutz
I'm not quite quite sure you get the subtlety of memory Morodienne. All memory is filtered by emotion. Every memory you have, no matter how tiny, is there because it means something to you emotionally, whether its a shopping list or a bar of a concerto. As putters-of-memories-in-other-people people we need to zoom in on this.

I don't see how this negates what I said. If a wrong note is there emotionally, then a new correct note needs to be replaced with the correct emotion, or nothing will change.
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#1281800 - 10/06/09 01:56 PM Re: I know how mistakes happen! [Re: Morodiene]
keyboardklutz Offline
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Quite right except there is no 'correct' emotion as far as memory goes - any emotion will 'fix' something in memory. So likely, it's not an emotion that has anything to do with the piece. It's a split second lighting up of the frontal cortex by the amygdala (that is in fact one way to describe emotion) of something it feels needs to be held on to (notice I used the word 'feels').
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#1281804 - 10/06/09 02:03 PM Re: I know how mistakes happen! [Re: keyboardklutz]
Morodiene Online   content
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Originally Posted By: keyboardklutz
Quite right except there is no 'correct' emotion. But it's not an emotion that has anything to do with the piece. It's a split second lighting up of the frontal cortex by the amygdala (that is in fact one way to describe emotion) of something it feels needs to be held on to (notice I used the word 'feels').

No, but if you are trying to correct a mistake, or if you've corrected the mistake but the emotion of fear or anxiety is still there, it does need to be replaced with one that is more conducive for playing, preferably one that suits the musical moment. Sometimes it is the extra-musical emotion of Love Mode vs. Fear Mode which can help someone get through a difficult or previously difficult passage and focus on the musicality, other times one can associate the correct note with the affect of the piece itself.
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#1281805 - 10/06/09 02:03 PM Re: I know how mistakes happen! [Re: keyboardklutz]
Nyiregyhazi Offline
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Originally Posted By: keyboardklutz
Quite right except there is no 'correct' emotion. But it's not an emotion that has anything to do with the piece. It's a split second lighting up of the frontal cortex by the amygdala (that is in fact one way to describe emotion) of something it feels needs to be held on to (notice I used the word 'feels').


What evidence is there for this business about every single memory being tied into emotions? I don't buy it. I would certainly like to see some something further if we're supposed to believe that you cannot remember a pattern of movements without recourse to emotion. Am I right in assuming that you are confusing the fact that memories CAN frequently be tied in with an emotional stimulus with the bogus notion that no memory can exist without reference to emotions? Are you suggesting that we memorise better if we undergo extremes of emotion while practising? I'd like to see some more on this, as I'm really not convinced that you are accurate in your claims. Certainly, we remember events and situations in which we felt the strongest emotions. However, is there any evidence that this has any bearing on how we remember an intricate pattern of movements? I'm not convinced that these things are interchangable.


Edited by Nyiregyhazi (10/06/09 02:09 PM)
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#1281809 - 10/06/09 02:13 PM Re: I know how mistakes happen! [Re: Nyiregyhazi]
Morodiene Online   content
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Originally Posted By: Nyiregyhazi
Originally Posted By: keyboardklutz
Quite right except there is no 'correct' emotion. But it's not an emotion that has anything to do with the piece. It's a split second lighting up of the frontal cortex by the amygdala (that is in fact one way to describe emotion) of something it feels needs to be held on to (notice I used the word 'feels').


What evidence is there for this business about every single memory being tied into emotions? I don't buy it. I would certainly like to see some something further if we're supposed to believe that you cannot remember a pattern of movements without recourse to emotion. Am I right in assuming that you are confusing the fact that memories CAN frequently be tied in with an emotional stimulus with the bogus notion that no memory can exist without reference to emotions? Are you suggesting that we memorise better if we undergo extremes of emotion while practising? I'm certainly not convinced.


Good point. Just because some are tied doesn't mean all are. In the interview posted, I did not draw a conclusion from what this doctor stated that all memory is tied to an emotion. I do understand that emotion can be a trigger for remembering something. It appeared from the interview that this doctor had worked with only one patient with a completely disconnected right brain from left. I would need to see more research with other subjects to be able to draw any such conclusions.

For example (and I know this is not research but allegory), I can memorize a word's definition. I may not have any emotional attachment to the word or to the circumstances of learning the definition, but I can memorize it. And certainly, it wouldn't take an emotional state for me to recollect the definition.

It is an interesting hypothesis, but I'm not sure I believe it is the only way we learn.
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#1281812 - 10/06/09 02:20 PM Re: I know how mistakes happen! [Re: Morodiene]
keyboardklutz Offline
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Originally Posted By: Morodiene

No, but if you are trying to correct a mistake, or if you've corrected the mistake but the emotion of fear or anxiety is still there, it does need to be replaced with one that is more conducive for playing, preferably one that suits the musical moment.
Emotion is post amgydala, a 'happening' brought about by the amygdala which takes place in the frontal cortex. Maybe that's why memories can't be changed? The damage has already been done - the amygdala has inscribed the perception on the mind. We don't so much want to induce an emotion for a new memory, we want to stimulate the amygdala to 'fire'.
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#1281819 - 10/06/09 02:26 PM Re: I know how mistakes happen! [Re: Morodiene]
keyboardklutz Offline
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Originally Posted By: Morodiene
Originally Posted By: Nyiregyhazi

What evidence is there for this business about every single memory being tied into emotions? I don't buy it. I would certainly like to see some something further if we're supposed to believe that you cannot remember a pattern of movements without recourse to emotion. Am I right in assuming that you are confusing the fact that memories CAN frequently be tied in with an emotional stimulus with the bogus notion that no memory can exist without reference to emotions? Are you suggesting that we memorise better if we undergo extremes of emotion while practising? I'm certainly not convinced.


Good point. Just because some are tied doesn't mean all are. In the interview posted, I did not draw a conclusion from what this doctor stated that all memory is tied to an emotion.
I'll try and dig up some more 'evidence', but at least we're on the same wavelength. How do you think memories are chosen out of the massive stimulus which is your daily life? You're getting bogged down with a common definition of emotion. Emotion is what the amygdala does, as movement is what a limb does. To think of all emotion as intensely felt is to lose sight of 99% of it.
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#1281823 - 10/06/09 02:38 PM Re: I know how mistakes happen! [Re: keyboardklutz]
Morodiene Online   content
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I think something to keep in mind that with music we are also involving Broca's area, which is the language center of the brain. This would be something interesting to research further, on how they inter-relate and how much emotion does actually play in the learning process.
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#1281825 - 10/06/09 02:39 PM Re: I know how mistakes happen! [Re: Morodiene]
keyboardklutz Offline
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Quote:
Amygdala Modulation of Memory Consolidation: Interaction with Other Brain Systems
James L. McGaughf2, Christa K. McIntyre and Ann E. Power

Center for the Neurobiology of Learning and Memory and Department of Neurobiology and Behavior, University of California, Irvine, California, 92697-3800

Available online 24 January 2003.

Abstract

There is a strong consensus that the amygdala is involved in mediating influences of emotional arousal and stress on learning and memory. There is extensive evidence that the basolateral amygdala (BLA) is a critical locus of integration of neuromodulatory influences regulating the consolidation of several forms of memory. Many drug and stress hormone influences converge in activating the release of norepinephrine (NE) within the BLA. Evidence from studies using in vivo microdialysis and high-performance liquid chromatography indicates that increases in amygdala NE levels assessed following inhibitory avoidance training correlate highly with subsequent retention. Other evidence indicates that NE influences on memory consolidation require muscarinic cholinergic activation within the BLA provided by projections from the nucleus basalis magnocellularis (NB). Evidence from several experiments indicates that activation of the BLA plays an essential role in modulating memory consolidation processes involving other brain regions. These findings provide strong support for the hypothesis that the BLA plays a critical role in regulating the consolidation of lasting memories of significant experiences.
Not that you would call bar X of Sonata X a significant experience. But can we make it so?
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#1281827 - 10/06/09 02:41 PM Re: I know how mistakes happen! [Re: keyboardklutz]
Morodiene Online   content
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Registered: 04/06/07
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Originally Posted By: keyboardklutz
Quote:
Amygdala Modulation of Memory Consolidation: Interaction with Other Brain Systems
James L. McGaughf2, Christa K. McIntyre and Ann E. Power

Center for the Neurobiology of Learning and Memory and Department of Neurobiology and Behavior, University of California, Irvine, California, 92697-3800

Available online 24 January 2003.

Abstract

There is a strong consensus that the amygdala is involved in mediating influences of emotional arousal and stress on learning and memory. There is extensive evidence that the basolateral amygdala (BLA) is a critical locus of integration of neuromodulatory influences regulating the consolidation of several forms of memory. Many drug and stress hormone influences converge in activating the release of norepinephrine (NE) within the BLA. Evidence from studies using in vivo microdialysis and high-performance liquid chromatography indicates that increases in amygdala NE levels assessed following inhibitory avoidance training correlate highly with subsequent retention. Other evidence indicates that NE influences on memory consolidation require muscarinic cholinergic activation within the BLA provided by projections from the nucleus basalis magnocellularis (NB). Evidence from several experiments indicates that activation of the BLA plays an essential role in modulating memory consolidation processes involving other brain regions. These findings provide strong support for the hypothesis that the BLA plays a critical role in regulating the consolidation of lasting memories of significant experiences.
Not that you would call bar X of Sonata X a significant experience. But can we make it so?

Right, but perhaps the whole piece can be. I'm sure we have all experienced a situation where a student loved a piece so much that they were able to overcome difficulties that perhaps in another piece they wouldn't have been able to accomplish.
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#1281837 - 10/06/09 02:59 PM Re: I know how mistakes happen! [Re: Morodiene]
keyboardklutz Offline
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To get back to mistakes, I think we can quite definitely say a fear of mistakes (or any heightened emotion in response to them) will cause the amygdala to ingrain any a student makes, further consolidating them in memory.
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#1281844 - 10/06/09 03:14 PM Re: I know how mistakes happen! [Re: keyboardklutz]
Nyiregyhazi Offline
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Originally Posted By: keyboardklutz
Originally Posted By: Morodiene
Originally Posted By: Nyiregyhazi

What evidence is there for this business about every single memory being tied into emotions? I don't buy it. I would certainly like to see some something further if we're supposed to believe that you cannot remember a pattern of movements without recourse to emotion. Am I right in assuming that you are confusing the fact that memories CAN frequently be tied in with an emotional stimulus with the bogus notion that no memory can exist without reference to emotions? Are you suggesting that we memorise better if we undergo extremes of emotion while practising? I'm certainly not convinced.


Good point. Just because some are tied doesn't mean all are. In the interview posted, I did not draw a conclusion from what this doctor stated that all memory is tied to an emotion.
I'll try and dig up some more 'evidence', but at least we're on the same wavelength. How do you think memories are chosen out of the massive stimulus which is your daily life? You're getting bogged down with a common definition of emotion. Emotion is what the amygdala does, as movement is what a limb does. To think of all emotion as intensely felt is to lose sight of 99% of it.


Yes, but are they the same issue? Sure we choose to remember situations more easily when we experience emotions. Does that suggest in any way that a movement must be tied to an emotion for it to be learnt? Not necessarily. Indeed, above all it's the emotions we remember from distinct situations- not how we moved at the time. There may be no relation at all. I'd like to see some evidence. Incidentally, if it's not about 'emotion' in the way the word is widely used- perhaps you simply shouldn't confused the matter by bringing up the notion of something 'meaning something to you'? If it's not emotion in the conventional sense, you didn't seem terribly aware of that when you used that phrase. Perhaps you've been on wikipedia a little more since then, but I'm not sure why you're now correcting Morodine for referring to it in the context you personally outlined.


Edited by Nyiregyhazi (10/06/09 03:30 PM)
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#1281848 - 10/06/09 03:19 PM Re: I know how mistakes happen! [Re: keyboardklutz]
Nyiregyhazi Offline
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Registered: 07/24/09
Posts: 2464
Originally Posted By: keyboardklutz
Quote:
Amygdala Modulation of Memory Consolidation: Interaction with Other Brain Systems
James L. McGaughf2, Christa K. McIntyre and Ann E. Power

Center for the Neurobiology of Learning and Memory and Department of Neurobiology and Behavior, University of California, Irvine, California, 92697-3800

Available online 24 January 2003.

Abstract

There is a strong consensus that the amygdala is involved in mediating influences of emotional arousal and stress on learning and memory. There is extensive evidence that the basolateral amygdala (BLA) is a critical locus of integration of neuromodulatory influences regulating the consolidation of several forms of memory. Many drug and stress hormone influences converge in activating the release of norepinephrine (NE) within the BLA. Evidence from studies using in vivo microdialysis and high-performance liquid chromatography indicates that increases in amygdala NE levels assessed following inhibitory avoidance training correlate highly with subsequent retention. Other evidence indicates that NE influences on memory consolidation require muscarinic cholinergic activation within the BLA provided by projections from the nucleus basalis magnocellularis (NB). Evidence from several experiments indicates that activation of the BLA plays an essential role in modulating memory consolidation processes involving other brain regions. These findings provide strong support for the hypothesis that the BLA plays a critical role in regulating the consolidation of lasting memories of significant experiences.
Not that you would call bar X of Sonata X a significant experience. But can we make it so?


I can't say that this sounds terribly specific to the memory in the sense of the abiity to replicate complex movements. I'm not ruling it out, but this doesn't particuarly convince me. I'm not necessarily going to feel that I ought to read a sad novel before practising and then attempt to cry while working on scales, based on this.


Edited by Nyiregyhazi (10/06/09 03:23 PM)
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#1281849 - 10/06/09 03:20 PM Re: I know how mistakes happen! [Re: Morodiene]
Nyiregyhazi Offline
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Registered: 07/24/09
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Originally Posted By: Morodiene

Right, but perhaps the whole piece can be. I'm sure we have all experienced a situation where a student loved a piece so much that they were able to overcome difficulties that perhaps in another piece they wouldn't have been able to accomplish.


Surely because that love motivated them to work harder, in almost every single case? That doesn't rule out additional factors, but I can't say I'm convinced that it points to any great bearing on the issue. Ironically, when I love a piece the most I often find it hard to work to my best level, because I'm too interested in playing it through, rather than practising it productively.


Edited by Nyiregyhazi (10/06/09 03:26 PM)
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#1281856 - 10/06/09 03:38 PM Re: I know how mistakes happen! [Re: Nyiregyhazi]
TimR Offline
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Originally Posted By: Nyiregyhazi
Originally Posted By: Morodiene
Slow, deliberate practice does not mean hesitation.


However, I would say that a moment of hesitation is always better than going on to strike a wrong note (in practice time). Land on a a wrong note and you have a lot of work to do, if you don't want it to come back.

Some people have the idea that any hesitation is ALWAYS a cardinal sin and that it's better to go wrong in any instance.


In my opinion, it is a cardinal sin.

Landing on a wrong note does not always ingrain that error. It must be repeated many times to do that - and yes that can make it hard to unlearn.

But hesitating not only teaches you to hesitate on that note, it teaches you hesitation in general.

You are obsessed with thinking that hitting a wrong note IS an error, but not hitting a note is not an error. It is. The hesitation is as much an error as the wrong note would be. The difference is hesitation is a far worse error, and a habit far more difficult to break.

If you want to play so slowly you can avoid both errors, fine. The biggest danger in slow play is that you detach from time. Playing outside of time should be avoided. Playing in strict time but very slowly can work well.
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#1281858 - 10/06/09 03:46 PM Re: I know how mistakes happen! [Re: TimR]
keyboardklutz Offline
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I agree, hesitation is not an alternative.
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#1281874 - 10/06/09 04:20 PM Re: I know how mistakes happen! [Re: keyboardklutz]
TimR Offline
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Originally Posted By: keyboardklutz
I agree, hesitation is not an alternative.


In the interest of fairness, I must also concede that anticipation is an error.

It is less of a problem though. <grin>

In teaching someone to hesitate rather than make a mistake, we teach them that when in doubt, do nothing. Unfortunately "nothing" is an error, so what we have taught is when in doubt make an error.

Making the error produces instant punishment - IF the student perceives it. That's a function of their progress; some hear mistakes and some don't. The faster they learn to hear mistakes the more progress they make.
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#1281876 - 10/06/09 04:22 PM Re: I know how mistakes happen! [Re: TimR]
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WHAT AN AWESOME THREAD!!!!!
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#1281927 - 10/06/09 06:20 PM Re: I know how mistakes happen! [Re: TimR]
Nyiregyhazi Offline
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Originally Posted By: TimR
Originally Posted By: keyboardklutz
I agree, hesitation is not an alternative.


In the interest of fairness, I must also concede that anticipation is an error.

It is less of a problem though. <grin>

In teaching someone to hesitate rather than make a mistake, we teach them that when in doubt, do nothing. Unfortunately "nothing" is an error, so what we have taught is when in doubt make an error.


Nothing is not an error. The physical connections between two fingers are no more different after a pause than those that occur within differing tempos. There is no reason why this should cause a problem than there is reason to believe that a pianist would only be capable of executing music at one specific tempo, or that they would be incapable of adapting to take time over a passage in order to follow a singer. The issue is merely to redress the balance of how accurate linking movements relate to each other. This must be done at once, to prevent serious problems, but there is no inherent inaccuracy, if the player is fully aware of what is going on. Conversely, when you play a wrong note, you retain an INACCURATE physical memory in the brain- in the sense that you used entirely the wrong finger or felt a completely incorrect distance in the hand. Playing incorrectly is an error of the most literal kind that bears no relation to stopping once to feel the connection between two notes.

Many great pianists use practise methods that involve habitually pausing to listen to the sound production and balance. It causes no problems because there is no incorrect movement. It merely means that the next part of the chain has yet to be added. You simply need to ensure that it DOES get added at the first opportunity where you can be certain will be connected accurately. Once you know what to add you get the experience of connecting the two correct fingers (a movement that is still the same as that required, regardless of whether you have taken time), you go back and get it right what actually equates to FIRST TIME. Play a wrong note and you have added an incorrect link to the chain. When you go back, you have literally zero experience of how to add the correct link and you also have the fact that your hands are going to want to do the same again. Very dangerous. This is where the bad programming sets in.

Pausing is never to be recommended. However, if it's a toss-up between guessing the next note and being sure of it, a pause wins every time. The only issue is whether the student goes back to correct it. They should do so at once, otherwise pausing can end up a habitual flaw. Assuming they do correct it, they have far less work on their hands than the student who panics and plays a random note but feels he has to keep going. There is science to back this up. The brain retains the knowledge of the wrong note, whether you like it or not. Its knowledge of a hesitation is no different to the differences that occur between playing the same notes at different tempos, physically speaking. In fact, if the thought-processes are sound, what you learn from stopping to focus a particular isolated connection is exactly what will permit you to execute a flawless rhythm next time round, without sloppy guesswork. The whole purpose is actually to build up to a whole as soon as possible. It's just that you favour isolating those moments that are least likely to prevent a continuous whole, over settling for an inaccurate whole. Would you prefer your train to take you to the correct destination half and hour late, or to arrive on time at a random station on the other side of the country? If you don't get it right, the benefits regarding time are simply not benefits.

A wrongly struck note leaves a memory that is different to that required in every possible respect. Admittedly, isolated wrong notes can be fixed too, albeit with greater effort. However, if you have the mindset that it's better to screw up than to stop, wrong notes are not exactly going to be rare. Once you've messed up a few times, you've got more work on your hands than if you took the time to be sure of every note first. The mindset simply isn't conducive to accuracy.


If you refuse to trust hesitations however, I'd suggest a compromise. It's far better to stop at once if you feel unprepared for what follow and to plan it out before attempting it again. The greatest enemy is simply to guess because you don't know what you're attempting to do. As long as you have a means of preventing random guesswork, you stop yourself wasting time trying to remove bad habits. No method should ever encourage guesswork (outside of sight-reading practise), or it's just asking for irrepairable inconsistency.

PS. I never allow students to release the previous note if hesitating though. If they do so, it really is deeply counterproductive. You need to feel the means of connection between fingers, to have awareness of what will be required when you lead back in to ensure that the rhythm will be there next time.


Edited by Nyiregyhazi (10/06/09 07:03 PM)
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#1282019 - 10/06/09 09:46 PM Re: I know how mistakes happen! [Re: TimR]
jazzyprof Offline
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Registered: 11/30/04
Posts: 2629
Loc: Ann Arbor, MI
Originally Posted By: TimR

In my opinion, it is a cardinal sin.

If it is true that to hesitate rather than err is a cardinal sin then I guess I am condemned to roast in hell. smile

I got the quote "hesitate rather than err" from the lovely book "Improve your Piano Playing" by John Meffen. He has a whole chapter entitled "Methods of preventing and correcting mistakes" which has some bearing on the issues discussed in this thread, although a certain party wishes to forbid such a discussion:
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.

Nevertheless, being an engineer, I believe in practical approaches to things as opposed to philosophizing and bloviating about things I know nothing about. That is why I have taken John Meffen's advice to heart and have succeeded in minimizing the frequency of errors in my playing.

The "hesitate rather than err" advice is meant to be applied during the stages where one is learning the notes and committing things to memory. It is at this stage where one must be on guard against hitting wrong notes. At this stage one is playing so slowly that matters of timing and rhythm are almost irrelevant. "Your brain must always be directing your fingers accurately to the next note or chord" he states.

This idea of hesitation is related to the notion of inhibition in the Alexander technique, meaning the ability to prevent an unwanted habitual response from taking place by deliberately creating a pause.
Quote:
Inhibition, in this sense, is of considerable use to us in improving our piano playing. The ability to exercise self restraint by inhibiting an action, and thereby allowing us to think out the next move, is one to cultivate. It takes courage to decide not to have just one more 'go' to see if things 'come right' of their own accord. If we do have one more go, responsibility for that next move is thrown back onto our self-organising system, and if that has set us on the wrong track already it will be pure chance if things do 'come right'.


He concludes: "Inhibiting an action in order to prevent making an error is an essential first step, but it is not an end in itself. It does, however, provide space (thinking time) to allow the next moves to be worked out."

Anyway, I highly recommend that book.
_________________________
"Playing the piano is my greatest joy...period."......JP

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#1282138 - 10/07/09 01:50 AM Re: I know how mistakes happen! [Re: jazzyprof]
keyboardklutz Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/21/07
Posts: 10856
Loc: London, UK (though if it's Aug...
Meffin is referring to something quite different. The idea that if you try, try again you'll get it right. That doesn't work in piano. As far as forbidding goes, maybe inhibit is a better word?

And again, your misconstruing of this thread as about how not to make mistakes reveals your anxiety over the issue - that will only lead to more mistakes. Instead philosophize and bloviate.


Edited by keyboardklutz (10/07/09 02:13 AM)
_________________________
snobbyish, yet maybe helpful.
http://keyboardclass.blogspot.com/


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#1282157 - 10/07/09 02:53 AM Re: I know how mistakes happen! [Re: jazzyprof]
theJourney Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/22/07
Posts: 3946
Loc: Banned
Originally Posted By: jazzyprof
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.

Nevertheless, being an engineer, I believe in practical approaches to things as opposed to philosophizing and bloviating about things I know nothing about. That is why I have taken John Meffen's advice to heart and have succeeded in minimizing the frequency of errors in my playing.

The "hesitate rather than err" advice is meant to be applied during the stages where one is learning the notes and committing things to memory. It is at this stage where one must be on guard against hitting wrong notes. At this stage one is playing so slowly that matters of timing and rhythm are almost irrelevant. "Your brain must always be directing your fingers accurately to the next note or chord" he states.

This idea of hesitation is related to the notion of inhibition in the Alexander technique, meaning the ability to prevent an unwanted habitual response from taking place by deliberately creating a pause.
Quote:
Inhibition, in this sense, is of considerable use to us in improving our piano playing. The ability to exercise self restraint by inhibiting an action, and thereby allowing us to think out the next move, is one to cultivate. It takes courage to decide not to have just one more 'go' to see if things 'come right' of their own accord. If we do have one more go, responsibility for that next move is thrown back onto our self-organising system, and if that has set us on the wrong track already it will be pure chance if things do 'come right'.


He concludes: "Inhibiting an action in order to prevent making an error is an essential first step, but it is not an end in itself. It does, however, provide space (thinking time) to allow the next moves to be worked out."

Anyway, I highly recommend that book.


thumb

Post of the day. The link with Alexander Technique was spot on too. It also supports my earlier observation: "You can never unlearn anything", therefore you are well advised to practice the correct movements on the correct notes versus spending your time doing things wrong and then correcting tha later, burning at least three ambiguous neural connections along the way.

Trying to endlessly understand how things work or why they are is a dead-end path compared to just entering the moment of now and picking relatively simple and practical approaches, actually applying them consistently, obeserving the results and booking success. The rest might be termed pianistical verbal master**tion.

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#1282160 - 10/07/09 03:00 AM Re: I know how mistakes happen! [Re: theJourney]
keyboardklutz Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/21/07
Posts: 10856
Loc: London, UK (though if it's Aug...
You calling me a wanker?
_________________________
snobbyish, yet maybe helpful.
http://keyboardclass.blogspot.com/


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#1282282 - 10/07/09 09:39 AM Re: I know how mistakes happen! [Re: keyboardklutz]
jazzyprof Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/30/04
Posts: 2629
Loc: Ann Arbor, MI
Originally Posted By: keyboardklutz

And again, your misconstruing of this thread as about how not to make mistakes reveals your anxiety over the issue - that will only lead to more mistakes. Instead philosophize and bloviate.

Thank you for that free bit of psychoanalysis. You have been able to identify my anxiety issues from a distance. Are there any meds you would prescribe...or I should just join you in philosophizing and bloviating?
_________________________
"Playing the piano is my greatest joy...period."......JP

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#1282316 - 10/07/09 10:23 AM Re: I know how mistakes happen! [Re: jazzyprof]
keyboardklutz Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/21/07
Posts: 10856
Loc: London, UK (though if it's Aug...
What the hell, join in, chill.
_________________________
snobbyish, yet maybe helpful.
http://keyboardclass.blogspot.com/


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#1282344 - 10/07/09 10:51 AM Re: I know how mistakes happen! [Re: keyboardklutz]
jazzyprof Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/30/04
Posts: 2629
Loc: Ann Arbor, MI
OK, I'll join in. Here's my take on how mistakes happen, from a quantum electrodynamics perspective. Mistakes originate from vacuum fluctuations.

In other words s..t happens.
_________________________
"Playing the piano is my greatest joy...period."......JP

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#1282352 - 10/07/09 11:02 AM Re: I know how mistakes happen! [Re: jazzyprof]
keyboardklutz Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/21/07
Posts: 10856
Loc: London, UK (though if it's Aug...
I think maybe quantum biology could have some relevance here.
_________________________
snobbyish, yet maybe helpful.
http://keyboardclass.blogspot.com/


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#1282355 - 10/07/09 11:06 AM Re: I know how mistakes happen! [Re: Nyiregyhazi]
TimR Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/17/04
Posts: 3200
Loc: Virginia, USA
Now, I know a couple of you disagree with me that stumbling and stuttering is a fault.

Or at least you think it is a very minor one compared to a finger occasionally bumping the wrong key.

But, if you can bring yourself to, consider it as a possibility. Temporarily think of it as error.

Accept for the sake of argument that we A) want to prevent hesitation and rhythmic stumbling, and B) would really like to avoid teaching it in the first place rather than having to cure it later. (I'm not sure if those are two ideas or one. It seems to be a given with some approaches that beginners must play stumbling and haltingly, and we'll cure that as they advance. But I'm sure we'd all agree if there were a way to avoid having to unlearn it later that would be preferable.)

So, then how would you change teaching to address that as a priority instead of something else?
_________________________
gotta go practice

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