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#2075096 - 05/01/13 03:52 PM Re: 7 months in and I have quit. Frustrated, sad, relieved. [Re: Jadis]
4evrBeginR Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/27/09
Posts: 1607
Loc: California
Stress from work takes a serious toll on practice time because the more tired I am after work, the less I want to do another difficult activity that requires learning, and learning piano is difficult. The wife and kids also take priority, so in the end, watching an hour of TV require far less energy than an hour of piano, plus it could be done with the family. There were days when I fell aspleep at the piano, and I've learned to just go to bed instead.

I do my best to practice more on weekends and some weeks very little if at all on weekdays (so I still avergage 5-7 hours a week). I felt bad about this initially but have accepted it. After 3 years of lessons, I find I am making progress, slower than if I practiced an hour a day everyday, but far better than not at all. My teacher is generous enough to recognize I am a very busy professional with young children and all the commitments that comes with that.

This is the reason I soldier on because I do I love piano. Another reason is that I did take lessons for a few months then quit, and 20 years went by before I touched the piano again, and I very much regret that. Having said that, there is not a single week that goes by in the last 3 years with all the demands of a career and family that I ask myself why am I doing this. I come back to the fact that I love piano, and losing 20 years was enough, and looking back on life, I don't want my career to be the only thing that defined who I am.
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Art is never finished, only abandoned. - da Vinci

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#2075112 - 05/01/13 04:14 PM Re: 7 months in and I have quit. Frustrated, sad, relieved. [Re: Jadis]
wouter79 Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/14/10
Posts: 3605
For the other questions, you clearly already answered them yourself so I'm not sure why you even ask. Here:

>Basically I put most of my energies focusing on work and career.

So you shuffled your priorities. That's it.

Maybe the piano never delivered what you were looking for.

Were you playing acoustic or DP?

Did you try classical pieces?
_________________________

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#2075200 - 05/01/13 06:21 PM Re: 7 months in and I have quit. Frustrated, sad, relieved. [Re: Jadis]
Charles Cohen Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/26/12
Posts: 1495
Loc: Richmond, BC, Canada
I just "picked up the piano" after a 40-year lapse. So yes, it's possible.

Adults aren't kids. We aren't learning piano because Mommy thinks it would be a good idea. We have "real-life" concerns far beyond our grade in the current semester's courses. And we can take the "long view" of pleasures, and responsibilities.

If you have to stop lessons (that is, you're not doing enough practice to improve), don't kick yourself too hard. Don't throw out your teacher's phone number -- he/she has probably seen this happen before, especially with adults. And come back when you have more time.

The doors that music opens, never close.

. Charles

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#2075216 - 05/01/13 06:50 PM Re: 7 months in and I have quit. Frustrated, sad, relieved. [Re: Charles Cohen]
pv88 Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/31/10
Posts: 2702
Originally Posted By: Charles Cohen
The doors that music opens, never close.


As Charles mentions here above music will always be with you so just never quit!

It can reap great rewards and enjoyment at any/all levels of ability.

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#2075283 - 05/01/13 09:35 PM Re: 7 months in and I have quit. Frustrated, sad, relieved. [Re: Jadis]
hamlet cat Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/01/13
Posts: 103
Loc: Mojave Desert
This is what I know from my experience. I hope this helps.

It's okay to feel the need to walk away from piano. It may even be healthy taking the learning pressure off, and as you noted feeling relieved. But it doesn't have to be permanent, just as long as you need to be away from it to be completely refreshed. I think that taking a break is something many adult learners need to do. I did it, and came back when I was ready much stronger than when I left.

The pressure and disappointment comes from not progressing as fast as one would like. There are definite milestones, and you experienced one. These learning milestones help give the energy and determination to get to the next one. When it does not come as fast as expected the energy goes away.

I think if you take a good break and come back you will be revived and ready to get to the next milestone. So take time away, don't pressure yourself to get back on the piano. The desire may come back stronger than you think. And if that happens, the next milestone will be very close. It just happens this way, from my experience.

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#2075288 - 05/01/13 09:45 PM Re: 7 months in and I have quit. Frustrated, sad, relieved. [Re: hamlet cat]
4evrBeginR Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/27/09
Posts: 1607
Loc: California
I had to take a six month break over a year ago in order to focus on writing my master's thesis, and surprisingly while I made absolutely no progress in piano during those 6 to 8 months, my worst fear did not come true. I didn't completely forget how to play the piano. I was pretty much back in shape after 2 or 3 weeks of getting back. Short breaks are fine, as long as they don't go on for 20 years.
_________________________
Art is never finished, only abandoned. - da Vinci

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#2075581 - 05/02/13 02:42 AM Re: 7 months in and I have quit. Frustrated, sad, relieved. [Re: Jadis]
xorbe Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/31/12
Posts: 573
Loc: Mt View, CA
It took me 5 starts over 10 years to get into running, which I really wanted to do. Now on my 5th year of running every week, and at a 6:20 pace for 13 miles -- just depends on how bad you wanna do something!!! My piano skills pale in comparison ... check back in 5 years. grin Actually this would be my 3rd attempt at getting into piano, and 5th into any instrument.

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#2075648 - 05/02/13 06:03 AM Re: 7 months in and I have quit. Frustrated, sad, relieved. [Re: Jadis]
Kristina1 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/24/13
Posts: 123
Loc: UK
It is so sad that your teacher did not take you aside
to inform you that after the first "burst of enthusiasm",
after the routine of learning and studying has started to set in,
many students go through a difficult time
when their whole effort of learning seems to "stand still". -

There have been some professional papers written about this phenomenon,
making the point of just "sitting it out"...
and to continue all the same, until things become easier again.

I talked in the past with some golfers
and they had similar difficulties
and just "had to sit it out" and continue all the same.

Some golfers, like for example, Nick Faldo, felt at one point
that he had to start from the very beginning again,
when he realized that his "grip" had been wrong from the start
and he saw no chance to develop from there
unless he started from the very beginning again - and he did.
Just imagine!

I am saying this because your emotions are completely normal
and you "only" have to "sit it out" and play whenever you can
and continue as best as you can,
until your circumstances settle better again... and continue from there.

I wish you good luck and all the best from Kristina.


Edited by Kristina1 (05/02/13 06:08 AM)

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#2075659 - 05/02/13 06:54 AM Re: 7 months in and I have quit. Frustrated, sad, relieved. [Re: Jadis]
justpin Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/25/12
Posts: 504
Loc: Holmes Chapel
Maybe I'm odd or something but I come home and play to unwind and escape from the day. I take the stance that there is no practice only playing some playing is better than others though.

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#2075662 - 05/02/13 07:08 AM Re: 7 months in and I have quit. Frustrated, sad, relieved. [Re: Jadis]
sinophilia Offline

Gold Supporter until Sept. 05 2014


Registered: 06/26/12
Posts: 1009
Loc: Italy
Learning piano can be terribly frustrating - one day you rejoice for having progressed a bit, the next one you find you can't play even the easiest stuff. Some people pick it up very quickly, but I think I can say that most of us don't. It's lots of hard work. It would be great to just sit at the piano and noodle around and play a few nice songs, but I don't think that's really possible after only a few months. I've been learning for a little over 1 year and I don't have much to show off, maybe 4 or 5 easy tunes. Some people concentrate more on repertoire and spend a lot of time on difficult, impressive pieces - often with good results. To each their own. I hope you stick with it and find your very own way to learn and play, and enjoy it.
_________________________
Diana & Wally - Yamaha W110BW
Martha Argerich... is an incarnation of the artistic metaphor of the "eternal feminine" that draws us upward. (Sergio Sablich)

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#2075670 - 05/02/13 07:26 AM Re: 7 months in and I have quit. Frustrated, sad, relieved. [Re: sinophilia]
Morodiene Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/06/07
Posts: 12147
Loc: Boynton Beach, FL
Originally Posted By: sinophilia
I hope you stick with it and find your very own way to learn and play, and enjoy it.


I think the recurring theme here is that everyone here has "quit" or had frustrating times, low periods, etc. in their piano playing. But they came back after a break. For me, I gave up and came back so many times that I decided I just going to quit giving up. smile
_________________________
private piano/voice teacher - full time
MTNA member
www.valeoconservatory.com
Petrof 9'2 Concert, Yamaha G3, Roland FP-7, Yamaha MOX6, Kawai MP11

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#2075689 - 05/02/13 08:02 AM Re: 7 months in and I have quit. Frustrated, sad, relieved. [Re: Jadis]
dmd Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/15/09
Posts: 1927
Loc: Pennsylvania
Something that I would add to the previous thoughts and suggestions would be to ...

DROP ALL EXPECTATIONS !!

If you don't have time for weekly lessons, then stop taking lessons for the time being.

Just get a book and progress through it very slowly page by page.

Don't hurry.

Don't measure your progress by how fast you move through the book.

Just do it when you have time and can enjoy the moment.

Think of it as, sort of, a secret skill you are building and someday you will "come out" and let it be known that you can "play".

No hurry. You have years.

Just keep going. A little at a time.

No expectations. No rush.

Play slowly and accurately.

Insist on perfecting things before moving on.

If something seems simple and you are struggling with it. So what ?

Just keep working with it, slowly, carefully.

It will come ... eventually. Not when you want it too but when you are ready.

No expectations. That breeds frustration.

Think of it as something you are just going to do because you want to.

It will take years but you will eventually be able to "play".
_________________________
Don

Current: ES7, Focusrite Scarlett 2i4 audio device, SennHeiser HD555 Phones, Focal CMS 40 Powered Monitors, Ravenscroft275, Ivory II American Concert D, Pianoteq 5

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#2075717 - 05/02/13 08:54 AM Re: 7 months in and I have quit. Frustrated, sad, relieved. [Re: dmd]
Morodiene Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/06/07
Posts: 12147
Loc: Boynton Beach, FL
Originally Posted By: dmd
Something that I would add to the previous thoughts and suggestions would be to ...

DROP ALL EXPECTATIONS !!

If you don't have time for weekly lessons, then stop taking lessons for the time being.

Just get a book and progress through it very slowly page by page.

Don't hurry.

Don't measure your progress by how fast you move through the book.

Just do it when you have time and can enjoy the moment.

Think of it as, sort of, a secret skill you are building and someday you will "come out" and let it be known that you can "play".

No hurry. You have years.

Just keep going. A little at a time.

No expectations. No rush.

Play slowly and accurately.

Insist on perfecting things before moving on.

If something seems simple and you are struggling with it. So what ?

Just keep working with it, slowly, carefully.

It will come ... eventually. Not when you want it too but when you are ready.

No expectations. That breeds frustration.

Think of it as something you are just going to do because you want to.

It will take years but you will eventually be able to "play".


+1. Excellent post.
_________________________
private piano/voice teacher - full time
MTNA member
www.valeoconservatory.com
Petrof 9'2 Concert, Yamaha G3, Roland FP-7, Yamaha MOX6, Kawai MP11

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#2075837 - 05/02/13 11:43 AM Re: 7 months in and I have quit. Frustrated, sad, relieved. [Re: Jadis]
xorbe Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/31/12
Posts: 573
Loc: Mt View, CA
I forgot to mention that I quit my guitar lessons for similar reasons ... he was a young very talented player who studied under a couple big names, and normally taught younger people, but be knew squat about successfully transferring his knowledge and skills to an older busy adult! With the piano I feel like I play to unwind, but with the guitar I felt like I was grinding and burning my lesson money. Perhaps I'll try again after I make a dent in my piano skills and music sight reading ...

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#2075863 - 05/02/13 12:04 PM Re: 7 months in and I have quit. Frustrated, sad, relieved. [Re: xorbe]
ElleC Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/12/13
Posts: 248
Loc: NJ, USA
Originally Posted By: xorbe
normally taught younger people, but be knew squat about successfully transferring his knowledge and skills to an older busy adult!


Agree! it's important to find that right teacher. Not every good pianist can teach and not every teacher can teach adult students.
_________________________
Adult beginner since January 2013. My only regret is that I didn't learn sooner.

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#2076102 - 05/02/13 06:51 PM Re: 7 months in and I have quit. Frustrated, sad, relieved. [Re: Jadis]
PaperClip Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/21/09
Posts: 522
Loc: Amsterdam, Holland
In my opinion you have a bad coincidence of having a burst in your career at the same time as piano playing after a few months. Hence the drop of the fun of playing the piano.

First year I consider as the most difficult, because the excitement of novelty flaws away. There might be too high expectations, wrong self motivation. Or music is too simple, frustration. I have lot of up and down feelings that I needed to learn how to cope with. After a year of playing my feelings about playing get better in control and stayed at a high with less up and downs. Since then I had the feeling piano playing was something I could do for years no matter what happens.

A new job could be very stressful. I changed career to cooking. I have to learn, go to school again and make a lot of hours. As a cook in good a restaurant it's normal to work 11-13 hours a day. I've been busy 6 days a week and sometimes 7 days. So I know piano playing is something I could do less and less concentrated, and sometimes not at all.

The lessons changed. There is more talking about music and technique, rather than playing my homework which isnt much. I just ask questions about music, talk about it, and try to understand music and technique. But most of all I like the personal attention just for me and about my hobby. I know that's something adults get less in their lives. It's stress relieving.

I can also understand your feelings of getting worse. Well, there are no worse feelings than feelings about getting worse. I have skated from youth till 35 years. At 24 I was at my high and since then it has been downhill. The drop in technique was so bad that I hate the last years of skating. But this year at 40 years, I have skated a few days and I love it like it in the early days.

So in my opinion I could you give an advice for what is worth. You should stop playing piano for now. You should give your job all focus.

But don't give up playing piano. First you need to ease out the bad feelings. You need the enjoyment and pleasure you have in the beginning. So the bad feelings you don't want. The bad feelings need to be erased from emotional memory, otherwise they come back. So play the piano when you have the time to relax and you aren't tired. I would say, stop for two months at least but maybe more and then play when you have positive feelings. Doesn't matter what you play. Just fill the room with sound. Play as long or short as you want.

Your job has all your focus and it's so intense your brain is still occupied when at home. You need to break that somehow. Maybe you could have one day in a week, not someday in week, where you meditate, sport and do quality time with your family. So not working 7 days a week anymore. Thats a start.

You 'll have to learn how to cope with your job and how to cope with playing the piano. Start experimenting, you know what you want. Just see what works for you. Try everything in the way you want and if after a year you have still the bad feelings about piano playing, then stop.
_________________________
Chris

Playing since May 02 2009

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#2079305 - 05/08/13 01:07 PM Re: 7 months in and I have quit. Frustrated, sad, relieved. [Re: Jadis]
KBS1607 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/20/10
Posts: 60
Loc: Illinois
Quote:
Just do it when you have time and can enjoy the moment.

I had an experienced musician tell me this and also enjoying cooking for example.
It is really good advice. I practice a lot more than I used to and feel a lot better about my progress. I went into piano looking for a 'secret' which I think is an adult thing. So when I started practicing and didn't show immediate results I was discouraged. Now that I'm looking at it differently I am happy with the results I'm getting.
I do wish I had started earlier etc but agree that you should at least keep sitting at the piano and playing.
_________________________
Alfred Adult Level One graduated 2010
I've been taking lessons since 2005

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#2079324 - 05/08/13 01:43 PM Re: 7 months in and I have quit. Frustrated, sad, relieved. [Re: Jadis]
Norrec Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/16/10
Posts: 28
You should try practicing in the morning. I was having similar troubles - I was having to work on weekends and had several late nights. By the time I got home and exercised, cooked, cleaned up, whatever else I needed to do, I was tired and just went to sleep.

Eventually I realized there was only one time when I wasn't tired and working late would have no effect, the morning! Now I wake up at 5:30am, eat and get ready for work, then practice 6:00am to 7:00am. For the past several weeks I've done this and feel like I've made more progress in that time than in several months before.

I'm wide awake and ready to go. There are no distractions. I have nothing else to look forward to because my options are A) piano B) go to work. It's an easy choice. Since I have a solid hour no matter what I find I'm a lot better about using the practice techniques my teacher and I talk about. Before I'd just play all my pieces a time or two and then either fall asleep or go do something else. Now I play hands separate, hands together, I count, I practice the hard sections...

I naturally wake up early so this wasn't a big change for me. I also never became addicted to coffee. If you can pull it off I think morning practice is a great way to overcome work trying to take over your life.

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#2079367 - 05/08/13 03:02 PM Re: 7 months in and I have quit. Frustrated, sad, relieved. [Re: 4evrBeginR]
Charles Cohen Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/26/12
Posts: 1495
Loc: Richmond, BC, Canada
Quote:
The wife and kids also take priority, so in the end, watching an hour of TV require far less energy than an hour of piano, plus it could be done with the family.


I spent many years without a TV. I read a lot more, then. Might go back to "no TV", if the cable company keeps raising its rates.

I think, between an hour of watching TV, and an hour of practice, I'm more refreshed after the practice.

But I agree on one thing:

. . . Practice, when exhausted, isn't fun.

. Charles

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#2079559 - 05/08/13 11:20 PM Re: 7 months in and I have quit. Frustrated, sad, relieved. [Re: Jadis]
MaryBee Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/21/09
Posts: 1228
Loc: Cleveland, OH
Originally Posted By: Jadis
-Do you think I gave up too easily? It's not that intend to never touch the piano again. I just am unable to commit myself to weekly assignments and regular practice. I am literally throwing time and money away.
-As adult beginners, how on earth DO you overcome the rest of your life's responsibilities? Between career, raising young kids, paying attention to my wife, and just watching an hour of TV a day there doesn't seem like much time left for piano practice.
-If I quit now, will it turn out that I will never pick up the piano again?
Jadis, why do you think of this as giving up? It's just the approach that fits your life better at this time. I can tell you that when I was raising my four kids and working full time, there was no way I could have had time to make lessons worthwhile (even with no TV). I would play a few times a week, just for fun and to keep music in my life. But now that my kids are grown, I can take lessons and spend hours a day on piano. No need to feel guilty or frustrated with your choice. Enjoy your current situation for what it is, and at some point in the future, you can spend as much of your free time and energy as you want on piano.
_________________________
Mary Bee
Current mantra: Play outside the box.
XVI-XXXVI

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#2084623 - 05/18/13 08:57 AM Re: 7 months in and I have quit. Frustrated, sad, relieved. [Re: Jadis]
Daniel Corban Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/17/13
Posts: 215
Loc: Canada
Does anyone think the goals here had something to do with it? It seems to me that the goals of simply learning to play some pop songs by ear is just asking for frustration. I can see that if you don't feel like you are learning the songs you desire quickly, that despair would set in.

With the same amount of effort in the same amount of time, you could learn how to play piano in general, using a combination of sight and intervalic reading, basic knowledge of chords and fingerings. What good is a year of learning and practice if it just allows you to play a few Elton John songs?
_________________________
Playing: Yamaha GC2

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#2084659 - 05/18/13 10:20 AM Re: 7 months in and I have quit. Frustrated, sad, relieved. [Re: Daniel Corban]
Sand Tiger Online   content
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/25/12
Posts: 1088
Loc: Southern California
Originally Posted By: Daniel Corban
Does anyone think the goals here had something to do with it? It seems to me that the goals of simply learning to play some pop songs by ear is just asking for frustration. I can see that if you don't feel like you are learning the songs you desire quickly, that despair would set in.

With the same amount of effort in the same amount of time, you could learn how to play piano in general, using a combination of sight and intervalic reading, basic knowledge of chords and fingerings. What good is a year of learning and practice if it just allows you to play a few Elton John songs?


Yes, I think the goal did have something to do with it. Good point there. However, I believe you are over estimating the progress that could have been made going a traditional classical route in seven months for an average person.

While there are many on the forum that rocket through the method books, the average beginner is still in book one of a method book at seven months. Perhaps working on songs such as Camptown Races or Blow the Man Down or the theme from Gilligan's Island. Many get bored with from that kind of song selection. Yes, more interesting beginner classical pieces could have been selected, but if a person isn't a lover of classical music, those classical selections are as boring as the beginner method book songs.

It might well have gone the other way. The progress might have been much slower, if the pieces were not interesting.

The goals were the most part achieved. So the what next question comes up, along with a ratcheting up in difficulty in the lessons. Combine that with more time for work and the result isn't surprising.


Edited by Sand Tiger (05/18/13 05:09 PM)
_________________________
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#2084695 - 05/18/13 11:22 AM Re: 7 months in and I have quit. Frustrated, sad, relieved. [Re: Jadis]
Bob Newbie Online   content
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/02/06
Posts: 1554
If your goal is pop piano, there is so much material available on YouTube regarding lessons
its mind boggling..no paid teacher is necessary, just learn your chords and the inversions
and your on your way..my goal is cocktail piano, mind you I've played jazz guitar for over 40yrs and switched to piano due to inflammation in my forearm/pinky finger(can't play guitar anymore) so I bought some various play piano DVD's gleaned what I could, and piano
fake books, for the chords only, I already know the melodies in the Great American Songbook
and sometimes I even use sheets from this site..http://www.theguitarguy.com/songs.htm

http://www.theguitarguy.com/songs.htm


Edited by Bob Newbie (05/18/13 11:23 AM)

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#2084701 - 05/18/13 11:27 AM Re: 7 months in and I have quit. Frustrated, sad, relieved. [Re: Jadis]
Rickster Offline


Registered: 03/25/06
Posts: 8583
Loc: Georgia, USA
No need to quit, and I see nothing wrong with wanting to learn a few Pop songs by ear. And, fwiw, it takes years or even a lifetime to play well and master the keyboard/piano.

Why not just take what you have learned, be thankful for that, and keep plugging away at it... smile

I play by ear mostly, and my goal is to be able to sit down at the piano and play anything I have ever heard, with some degree of proficiency. I'm a long way from that goal, but have already learned a lot and had a boat-load of fun along the way!

Keep it up, and good luck! smile

Rick
_________________________
Piano enthusiast and amateur musician: "Treat others the way you would like to be treated". Yamaha C7. YouTube Channel

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#2084725 - 05/18/13 12:11 PM Re: 7 months in and I have quit. Frustrated, sad, relieved. [Re: Rickster]
adultpianist Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/01/12
Posts: 540
I work in a demanding full time job and long hours. However, I have never felt like quiting my piano stuies because they mean too much to me and my love for the piano is too great for me to stop. I fit in my piano studies for about an hour after work and a few hours at the weekend. I have never not enjoyed them and love the challenge of learning.

Am I an exception to the rule here because most of you on this thread have felt like giving up when life gets too busy, but I have never felt like that

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#2084909 - 05/18/13 08:07 PM Re: 7 months in and I have quit. Frustrated, sad, relieved. [Re: Jadis]
Michael_99 Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/28/12
Posts: 935
Loc: Canada Alberta
Jadis, I have read your post, here:


Back in September I bought a piano and decided to take some lessons to learn what I always thought would be something enjoyable: playing music on a piano. I found myself a teacher and felt I was off to a great start; and I think I really was. I had never played before.

My goal, as I told my teacher, was to learn to play pop songs by ear and/or by reading.

So I started.

I had enthusiasm, drive, determination, and most importantly was enjoying it immensely despite the fact that certain things were difficult for me to learn like playing a block chord, or playing with two hands. I would spend hours and hours a week.

Within 4.5 months or so I had learned how to figure out simple songs (from extremely simple like Twinkle Twinkle Litte Star and as far as semi-simple pop songs like Elton John) by ear, including the accompanying block chords in the left hand and, I could read and understand fake book chord notation and play common chords with little hesitation, I had some music theory understanding, over time my curriculum moved to more reading, which I never solidified (I wouldn't even say I have solidified reading by intervals). I had begun learning to play with slightly more hand independence with broken up chords, but struggle to do so to this day.

Then, what occurred was that the nature of project at work changed and I started being drawn in to long days, stressful times, but at the same time it was very exhilarating. Basically I put most of my energies focusing on work and career.

During this time, my piano practice dwindled. I played far less and so week after week I began finding myself arriving at my teacher's doorstep telling her I had barely touched the piano since last week. But, worst of all, I discovered my initial enthusiasm and passion was not the same (in part due to the novelty wearing away but also due to my work).

For the past 3 weeks I tried to recover and force myself to sit down but ended up being very frustrated and disappointed that I have become a worse player than I was months ago. I haven't learned and completed a full song in a long time.

At the height of my abilities I could learn and reasonably perform songs like My Favorite Things, Moon River, various Beatles songs, What a Wonderful World, etc within a week. Now I have in fact regressed even from that level.

Today, I informed my teacher that I no longer wished to continue with my lessons, that I was not progressing and felt I was wasting my time and hers. I don't think it was news to her, for the past 2.5 months or so we both knew things were going downhill. The basic problem is that learning piano ceased to be very fun for me.


Questions:

-Do you think I was on a reasonable path of progress during this time?
-Do you think I gave up too easily? It's not that intend to never touch the piano again. I just am unable to commit myself to weekly assignments and regular practice. I am literally throwing time and money away.
-As adult beginners, how on earth DO you overcome the rest of your life's responsibilities? Between career, raising young kids, paying attention to my wife, and just watching an hour of TV a day there doesn't seem like much time left for piano practice.
-If I quit now, will it turn out that I will never pick up the piano again?

__________________________________________________


During our lives we play the piano and stop because of health, lack of money, lack of time, job requirements, family requirements - lack of a million reasons.

Now as an old man, I have learned something that I didn't know.

I had an electric piano (digital) gathering dust for about 20 years. I looked at the dusty piano because I was weak from health issues and wondered if I could sit at the piano and increase my ability of being able to sit up for more than a few minutes.

So I opened a Leila Fletcher piano course book 1 and started playing the 8 measure pieces. This is what I discovered. I couldn't afford a teacher so there was no pressure for a lesson being bad or good. I could only play for 5, 10 minutes or not at all because I was too tired/weak. So I might try to play several times during the 24 hour period for 5 or 10 minutes if I was able to. Well, I fell deeeeeply in love with the piano. I worked through the beginner book very, very, very slowly, but without errors. I had dreams of playing the piano but the reality for me was playing these little pieces day after day, for a years. Of course, it was simple, little tunes of about 50 pieces.

What I learned was that with a little bit of time done when you can, you can accomplish a lot or you accomplish nothing if you do nothing.

So again what I learned was to do what I can do and do it the best that I can with the time, money and energy - bringing me great joy. Down the road, it might be possible to play complicated music - but that can take a teacher, time to practice for a lesson, and all sorts of commitments of time, money, and energy.

So you might take some time to decide what you can live with - not learning difficult pop songs but settling with just playing a little piano learning from a method book that will keep your fingers and brain working through the measures slowly and easily without stress giving you the joy of continuing to play a little piano until the timing is right for a faster pace that you can handle.

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#2084978 - 05/18/13 10:51 PM Re: 7 months in and I have quit. Frustrated, sad, relieved. [Re: Michael_99]
4evrBeginR Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/27/09
Posts: 1607
Loc: California
Originally Posted By: Michael_99
What I learned was that with a little bit of time done when you can, you can accomplish a lot or you accomplish nothing if you do nothing.

So again what I learned was to do what I can do and do it the best that I can with the time, money and energy - bringing me great joy. Down the road, it might be possible to play complicated music - but that can take a teacher, time to practice for a lesson, and all sorts of commitments of time, money, and energy.


Well said. Some of the most comforting music are very simple and pretty easy to learn. Good music doesn't have to be complex.
_________________________
Art is never finished, only abandoned. - da Vinci

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