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#1562166 - 11/22/10 04:29 AM Is learning classed as high stress?
noahandgabrielsdad Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/14/10
Posts: 140
Loc: Sandbach, Cheshire, England
confusedHi all.
I have been told to keep my stress and anxiety levels as low as possible as I am a quite nervy and excitable person.
Has anyone got any helpful advice on how to practice and play reasonably calmly as I tend to be quite impatient and hard on myself even when I know my self taught piano playing is improving at a slow but very pleasing rate?
Great forum by the way.
Thanks
_________________________
I may not play very well, but my heart is there!!!!!!

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#1562187 - 11/22/10 06:50 AM Re: Is learning classed as high stress? [Re: noahandgabrielsdad]
tnew Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/13/10
Posts: 158
Loc: Austria
I can relate to being excitable and nervy, as I have nervous problems myself. I don't know much about these things, but I wouldn't think learning is so stressful itself. But what I do figure is that stress will affect your ability to learn. Getting the stress under control can only help your playing.

Everybody has different methods of dealing with stress. Sometimes learning itself is a method. Maybe there is something else that is the source of the stress. Maybe you are not tuning out all other problems when you sit down and play.

About tuning out: I have always had trouble tuning out when I should, such as when I am trying to sleep, read, or even when learning. I went to a spa once. They had a meditation room with a wierd lounge chair that warms up, vibrates, and plays funky music while glowing a dim bluish light. I never thought much about meditation, but for the half hour I sat there, I effectively, and accidentally, tuned out completely. I literally had nothing on my mind. I don't know how one achieves that on purpose, but I can tell you it was the most refreshing experience I ever had, and I felt so much more energetic and mentally sharp following that. So I figure there is a health value in 'tuning out'. If you can find a way to do that...meditation, yoga, exercise, whatever works for you...you will probably notice a significant decrease in your stress and feel more relaxed when playing.



Edited by tnew (11/22/10 06:53 AM)

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#1562191 - 11/22/10 07:05 AM Re: Is learning classed as high stress? [Re: noahandgabrielsdad]
PianoMath Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/14/10
Posts: 94
I usually go make some sex.

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#1562341 - 11/22/10 01:10 PM Re: Is learning classed as high stress? [Re: noahandgabrielsdad]
ten left thumbs Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/22/09
Posts: 3336
Loc: Scotland
Exercise generally is very good for stress. Playing music, especially something fairly easy for you skill level (whatever that is) will also be good.
_________________________
I am a competent teacher.


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#1562358 - 11/22/10 01:30 PM Re: Is learning classed as high stress? [Re: noahandgabrielsdad]
david_a Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/11/09
Posts: 2913
Originally Posted By: noahandgabrielsdad
confusedHi all.
I have been told to keep my stress and anxiety levels as low as possible as I am a quite nervy and excitable person.
Has anyone got any helpful advice on how to practice and play reasonably calmly as I tend to be quite impatient and hard on myself even when I know my self taught piano playing is improving at a slow but very pleasing rate?
Great forum by the way.
Thanks
If you practice by "attack-type" methods, then you will get your (un-stated) wish, and be plunged into battle. If you practice slowly, through curiosity and calmly figuring things out, you will get more done than you used to, and have less stress. For people who are used to "attack practice", it can be extremely hard to believe that methodical, curious practice is getting any work done, because they aren't getting those familiar feelings of their mind and body rebelling against mistreatment, which they associate with "work" - when in fact those feelings are just so much wasted energy and wear & tear on the body. Ninety percent of piano practice goes better without a mad adrenaline rush. Indeed there are times when getting excited is probably necessary & helpful - but not all the time.
_________________________
(I'm a piano teacher.)

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#1562373 - 11/22/10 02:02 PM Re: Is learning classed as high stress? [Re: noahandgabrielsdad]
Plowboy Offline

2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/26/08
Posts: 2749
Loc: SoCal
What david_a wrote is spot on. Piano practice is enjoyable and a stress reliever.

Or it should be.
_________________________
Gary
Essex EUP-111 at the mountains
W. Hoffmann T-122 at the beach

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#1562471 - 11/22/10 04:47 PM Re: Is learning classed as high stress? [Re: noahandgabrielsdad]
JimF Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/08/09
Posts: 2228
Loc: south florida
david a,

++++1 amen.

Here's the picture:

1 hour spent on two measures with a tricky rhythm, frustration and anxiety level heading skyward as I barrel through it repeat, repeat, repeat, never quite right twice. Pause, deep breath, question: what the heck am I doing here?

5 minutes quietly contemplating, not touching the keys. Evaluating the essence of the problem. 2 more minutes thinking of a little exercise that brings out the problem. 5 minutes calmly doing the little exercise.

Calmly play two troublesome measures as though there's no problem at all.

(slaps self upside the head: hey! try to remember that before you waste the hour next time.)
_________________________
Invention No.13 Aminor-Bach
Consolation no.3-Liszt
Reverie-Debussy
My Foolish Heart-Young

Estonia L190 #7284


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#1562669 - 11/23/10 12:36 AM Re: Is learning classed as high stress? [Re: noahandgabrielsdad]
SoundThumb Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/28/10
Posts: 410
Loc: San Diego, CA
JimF,
That was great. I think I'll have your post framed and hang it next to my piano.
Thanks.

-SoundThumb

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#1562678 - 11/23/10 01:13 AM Re: Is learning classed as high stress? [Re: tnew]
Dror Perl Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/20/10
Posts: 272
Loc: NY
David & JimF I can not agree more... smile

Its all about the attitude that you bring with you to your playing/practice.

If you make sure that you're in the right mental state before touching the keys, or focus on that aspect from the moment you start playing, your playing would be more relaxed and you'll probably enjoy more and achieve more.

Take a look at Kenny Werner's book...Effortless Mastery, it comes with a CD that has a few meditations and I think it can be great...for you
_________________________
Dror Perl. Pianist, Composer, Teacher.

http://www.sheerpiano.com/

Sheer Piano: The First Full Color Piano Music Books





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#1562694 - 11/23/10 02:00 AM Re: Is learning classed as high stress? [Re: noahandgabrielsdad]
chopin_r_us Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/17/10
Posts: 1861
Loc: London
Some beautiful comments, sometimes anxiety resides much deeper down though.

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