Welcome to the Piano World Piano Forums
Over 2 million posts about pianos, digital pianos, and all types of keyboard instruments
Join the World's Largest Community of Piano Lovers (it's free)
It's Fun to Play the Piano ... Please Pass It On!

Gifts and supplies for the musician
SEARCH
the Forums & Piano World

This custom search works much better than the built in one and allows searching older posts.
(ad 125) Sweetwater - Digital Keyboards & Other Gear
Digital Pianos at Sweetwater
(ad) Pearl River
Pearl River Pianos
(ad) Pianoteq
(ad) P B Guide
Acoustic & Digital Piano Guide
Ad (Piano Sing)
How to Make Your Piano Sing
Who's Online
111 registered (anotherscott, Anita Potter, ando, A Guy, anamnesis, accordeur, 29 invisible), 1438 Guests and 12 Spiders online.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
Quick Links to Useful Piano & Music Resources
Our Classified Ads
Find Piano Professionals-

*Piano Dealers - Piano Stores
*Piano Tuners
*Piano Teachers
*Piano Movers
*Piano Restorations
*Piano Manufacturers
*Organs

Quick Links:
*Advertise On Piano World
*Free Piano Newsletter
*Online Piano Recitals
*Piano Recitals Index
*Piano & Music Accessories
*Music School Listings
* Buying a Piano
*Buying A Acoustic Piano
*Buying a Digital Piano
*Pianos for Sale
*Sell Your Piano
*How Old is My Piano?
*Piano Books
*Piano Art, Pictures, & Posters
*Directory/Site Map
*Contest
*Links
*Virtual Piano
*Music Word Search
*Piano Screen Saver
*Piano Videos
*Virtual Piano Chords
(ad) Estonia Piano
Estonia Pianos
Topic Options
#1321759 - 12/09/09 12:45 PM Finding motivation for the less enjoyable pieces
Hummingbird Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/30/08
Posts: 57
So I'm a pretty new student, I've been teaching myself on and off (mostly off) for years, but started formal lessons about three months ago.

My instructor currently has me doing
-Scales
-Timing/rhythm exercises
-Etudes
-Two short repertoire pieces at my level (e.g. Bach's Minuet in G)
-A "fun" piece from a Fake Book that we use to also discuss some theory (chords, etc)

The problem is, I dislike the "fun" stuff. Yeah, I'll talk about it with him later -- but the point I'm going to ask about remains.
How do you find the motivation to practice the pieces you find uninteresting, especially when you have limited practice time that you can more than fill up with the pieces you like?
I play piano for fun, but someday I'd like to join an amateur group, and I'm sure there will be times when I'm less than enthused about the the pieces we choose to play. Or I know some people dislike scales and/or etudes but force themselves through it (I actually happen to like those, so it's not a problem for me).

So what tips do you have, or what tricks do you use, to make yourself put down the pieces you love and pick up the pieces you may not?

Top
(ads P/S)

Petrof Pianos

#1321777 - 12/09/09 01:04 PM Re: Finding motivation for the less enjoyable pieces [Re: Hummingbird]
Monica K. Offline

Platinum Supporter until Dec 31 2012


Registered: 08/10/05
Posts: 17815
Loc: Lexington, Kentucky
I'm going to be no help whatsoever, because I am one of those stubborn students who doesn't work on anything they don't enjoy. whome

My advice would be to weigh the benefits of doing the boring stuff against the disadvantages (less time for the stuff you really like). Discuss this with your teacher. I've seen arguments made heroically here by the teachers as to the wisdom of doing exercises etc. And for many people those arguments are compelling. The exercises will improve your technique and fill in gaps in your development.

However, for me, the downsides at this point far outweigh the upside. I'm not in this to become a concert pianist or have the greatest technique ever developed. I'm in this as a source of gratification and personal pleasure and enjoyment, and so far I've been able to make progress WITHOUT spending time on stuff I don't like to do. So I don't do it. But I'm headstrong that way. smokin

Talk it over with your teacher, and maybe he/she will reconsider the balance of assignments to make it more enjoyable for you. Or maybe you'll need to reconsider your goals and route to piano. But I would suggest that you either become comfortable with doing the exercises (a la resigning oneself to eating vegetables because they're good for you), or make a change in how your lessons are conducted. You don't want to be sitting at the bench not liking what you're doing. frown
_________________________
Mason & Hamlin A -- 91997
My YouTube channel: http://www.youtube.com/pianomonica

Top
#1321794 - 12/09/09 01:23 PM Re: Finding motivation for the less enjoyable pieces [Re: Monica K.]
Frozenicicles Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/02/09
Posts: 1324
Loc: Canada
I remember when I came across this issue a few years ago with my teacher. I really hated the latest piece assigned to me...Lotus Land by Cyril Scott. I got into a slump whenever I tried to practice it and begged to be allowed to play a different piece. Well...I was assigned the most ugly sounding 20th century work ever. It was so bad that I had to frequently check I was playing the right notes when practicing because it sounded like the composer was just randomly pounding dissonant notes on the keyboard.

So...I complained about this piece and asked to be switched again. "Well, you can always go back to playing Lotus Land." Oi...so I dutifully forced myself to learn Lotus Land for the next recital. It was a big hit! All the parents complimented me on how well I played and it was the highlight of the show. Now I never complain about the repertoire that I'm assigned because I learned my lesson that time. laugh

Here's the piece played by a talented young pianist (not me!) on youtube if you want to have a listen: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eTxKdkWh51g

So if you are going to bring this up with your teacher, do it in as tactful a manner as possible and don't be whiny like me. They have some tricks up their sleeves!

Top
#1321802 - 12/09/09 01:29 PM Re: Finding motivation for the less enjoyable pieces [Re: Frozenicicles]
Hummingbird Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/30/08
Posts: 57
LOL, Frozenicicles laugh
That sounds like a great way to pick up motivation.

I'm sure the discussion will come up at my next lesson. Let's just say, every piece is going to sound well practiced... except one. There will be no avoiding it. Somehow I'll have to approach the "uh, yeah, I didn't actually practice this one all week" subject blush

Top
#1321822 - 12/09/09 01:40 PM Re: Finding motivation for the less enjoyable pieces [Re: Frozenicicles]
foxyw Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/11/08
Posts: 298
Loc: New Hampshire
I keep a fake book piece in my lesson plan almost all of the time. They are not my favorite thing to work on but the more of them I do, the more enjoyable they become. We apply different LH patterns depending on the piece I'm learning. I've also learned to create voiced chords in the RH from the melody line. Something I continue to work on. My lesson plans are similar to yours but I also am assigned cadences to practice which helps with playing the LH of the fake book pieces.

Prior to playing piano, I played guitar with a small jam group that included a piano player. We only had a fake book (or worse, guitar chords only) score for almost all of the pieces we played. If the type of music group that you would like to join is a similar group, studying the chords and chord progressions would be really helpful.

I keep a list of everything I practice each day and try to make sure I get in the fake book practice at least every other day during the week. It helps keep my practicing in check, otherwise I'd tend to spend too much time on my favorite pieces or those that are nearly complete.
_________________________
"Ah, music. A magic beyond all we do here!" J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, 1997.


Top
#1321827 - 12/09/09 01:46 PM Re: Finding motivation for the less enjoyable pieces [Re: Hummingbird]
Triryche Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/11/06
Posts: 1451
Loc: Milwaukee, Wisconsin
What I try to do is after I've warmed up with a few scales, I dedicate X amount of time on what I consider not so fun and do that first. The X depends on how much time I have to practice. Sometimes X is only 5 minutes. After the "work" is done, then it's on to the fun!!

Top
#1321830 - 12/09/09 01:48 PM Re: Finding motivation for the less enjoyable pieces [Re: foxyw]
Hummingbird Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/30/08
Posts: 57
Originally Posted By: foxyw
If the type of music group that you would like to join is a similar group, studying the chords and chord progressions would be really helpful.

Actually I want to be part of a small chamber group, playing harpsichord for Early Music (mostly Baroque, maybe some Renaissance and Medieval).

Quote:
I keep a list of everything I practice each day and try to make sure I get in the fake book practice at least every other day during the week.

That's a good idea. Practice it only every few days, instead of trying to get it into every day like the other pieces. It obviously won't be as well practiced as everything else, but maybe that will be enough to learn what I need to from it.
Thanks for the tip.

Top

Moderator:  BB Player, casinitaly 
What's Hot!!
Christmas Header
Christmas Lights at Piano World Headquarters in Maine 2014
-------------------
The December Free Piano Newsletter
-------------------
Forums Rules & Help
-------------------
ADVERTISE
on Piano World

The world's most popular piano web site.
-------------------
PIANO BOOKS
Interesting books about the piano, pianists, piano history, biographies, memoirs and more!
(ad) Yamaha CP Music Rest Promo
Yamaha CP Music Rest Promo
(ad) HAILUN Pianos
Hailun Pianos - Click for More
Ad (Seiler/Knabe)
Knabe Pianos
(125ad) Dampp Chaser
Dampp Chaser Piano Life Saver
(ad) Lindeblad Piano
Lindeblad Piano Restoration
Sheet Music Plus (125)
Sheet Music Plus Featured Sale
New Topics - Multiple Forums
Guide to skills level
by Gemgem
12/20/14 08:55 PM
piano with willie
by TonyB
12/20/14 08:25 PM
Weird notation in the left hand
by LarryShone
12/20/14 07:43 PM
Need help picking a Beethoven Piano Sonata Slow movement
by oaklandraiders76
12/20/14 04:50 PM
What are some great ways to learn the blues?
by brucepiano
12/20/14 04:37 PM
Forum Stats
77375 Members
42 Forums
160024 Topics
2349971 Posts

Max Online: 15252 @ 03/21/10 11:39 PM
Gift Ideas for Music Lovers!
Find the Perfect Gift for the Music Lovers on your List!
Visit our online store today.

Visit our online store for gifts for music lovers

 
Help keep the forums up and running with a donation, any amount is appreciated!
Or by becoming a Subscribing member! Thank-you.
Donate   Subscribe
 
Our Piano Related Classified Ads
|
Dealers | Tuners | Lessons | Movers | Restorations | Pianos For Sale | Sell Your Piano |

Advertise on Piano World
| Subscribe | Piano World | PianoSupplies.com | Advertise on Piano World | Donate | Link to Us | Classifieds |
| |Contact | Privacy | Legal | About Us | Site Map | Free Newsletter | Press Room |


copyright 1997 - 2014 Piano World ® all rights reserved
No part of this site may be reproduced without prior written permission