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#2188664 - 11/26/13 01:20 PM I think I may take a break from lessons for a while
carolinagirl Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/01/13
Posts: 54
I have been learning to play since April of this year. My teacher is wonderful and is not at all hard on me.....but I have discovered that I am too hard on myself. I have a very busy life and it's hard to make time to practice as much as I should. Lessons are on Tuesday. Around Sunday, I start getting stressed about not being prepared enough for my lesson. I had no lesson last week or this week and have noticed I am more relaxed. I think preparing for my lesson was stressing me out and taking the fun out of this for me. I think I may take a break from lessons and just concentrate on having fun, working my way slowly through the 2nd Alfred book.
_________________________
Yamaha CLP 440 Delivered on April 16 2013
Started playing piano April 16 2013

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#2188669 - 11/26/13 01:29 PM Re: I think I may take a break from lessons for a while [Re: carolinagirl]
dynamobt Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/07/13
Posts: 676
Loc: NH
To each their own. I've quit lessons before. Thought I would practice on my own. I just don't do it. I need the regularity of lessons to keep me motivated. And yes, I get stressed too about not having prepared enough for my lesson. But, I'll bet your teacher would understand when family and other life demands take up time during the week. Mine does.

I guess it depends on how badly you want to learn piano. You just learn faster with a teacher, I think. Whatever you do, don't just up and quit. Talk to your teacher about your concerns and worries. I think you'll be surprised at what they understand. They are human, you know!!
_________________________
1918 Mason & Hamlin BB





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#2188670 - 11/26/13 01:32 PM Re: I think I may take a break from lessons for a while [Re: carolinagirl]
Roger Ransom Online   content
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/19/05
Posts: 1257
Loc: SouthWest Michigan
That's a good idea. By this time you have learned the real basic things like sitting properly and holding your fingers and hands correctly.

Just download some fun music around your level and enjoy yourself. If you want to get more serious later there is always time. In the meantime, just play and have fun. There are lots of songs at that level that sound great.

Maybe start with working on a couple of Holliday songs for starters.

In my opinion, playing the piano should be fun, not stressful -
_________________________
Laugh More
Yamaha G7 - Roland FP7

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#2188672 - 11/26/13 01:35 PM Re: I think I may take a break from lessons for a while [Re: carolinagirl]
scorpio Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/30/12
Posts: 523
Loc: Connecticut, USA
I, too, am hard on myself and stress about upcoming lessons. And in some ways I feel I am more of a mess now with a teacher than I was without. I enjoy my lessons.

I am hoping that over time, and with increased level of confidence, the stress will ease. I have a feeling that will not be the case.
_________________________
Kawai MP11 :: JBL LSR305 :: Focusrite 2i4 :: Pianoteq Standard

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#2188673 - 11/26/13 01:35 PM Re: I think I may take a break from lessons for a while [Re: carolinagirl]
Jasper82 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/11/10
Posts: 118
Loc: Ann Arbor MI
working on your own is nice too. I took a break of a few years not reading my alfred's 1 book. but I found that reading music is better for my creativity then just trying to invent things. It's also fun to come back to a piece and re-read and re-learn it. I have only had one teacher and that was at a class at community college, and it does make playing the music stressful, because you are doing it for someone else as well. It might push you further than you would go on your own but it is stressful.

last but not least, do what you enjoy when it comes to learning piano!
_________________________
Yamaha CP20
Yamaha EL25
Baldwin Hamilton Studio Upright 1963
http://jdsy.bandcamp.com/album/solo-piano-improv

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#2188682 - 11/26/13 01:49 PM Re: I think I may take a break from lessons for a while [Re: carolinagirl]
alans Online   content
Full Member

Registered: 01/18/12
Posts: 83
There is nothing wrong with taking a break..I've taken years off between lessons.
Unfortunately it was difficult for me to keep up the practising, but I also felt
stressed about being prepared for lessons and workin full time I just wanted to come home and have an easy time. I think as adults we can be hard on ourselves and expect too much sometimes. I've also learned from other instrument studies in the past that even though you don't feel entirely prepared for a lesson one week, you should still try and attend because there are always good things your teacher can still teach you.
But take a break if you think it will be helpful. Better that then ending up resenting your instrument and your lessons. Perhaps in a short period of time you will really start to miss practising and want to start at a more forgiving level again.

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#2188693 - 11/26/13 02:11 PM Re: I think I may take a break from lessons for a while [Re: carolinagirl]
supersport Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/09/08
Posts: 394
Loc: Arkansas
Hey,

I don't think you have to stop your lessons to have more fun at it. Adults are pretty hard on themselves with how fast they expect results. Adopt an attitude that you are going to lessons to learn but have fun along the way. You are not measuring yourself against anyone else. If you are too busy to practice adequately one week, go anyway and use that time with your teacher to practice that day.
I have a great teacher who reminds me I am not in a race or working on a performance degree. If something becomes too tedious or nonproductive we can move on to something more enjoyable. I recognize it is more difficult to do that as a beginner, but don't let the fact that life interferes with your practice time for a lesson interrupt how much you get from your teacher.
_________________________
David




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#2188701 - 11/26/13 02:26 PM Re: I think I may take a break from lessons for a while [Re: carolinagirl]
JimF Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/08/09
Posts: 1722
Loc: south florida
Carolinagirl,

Your self-imposed stress is a familiar theme, and one that I often share with you. What I find works best is to be very careful NOT to set any weekly goal that is related to results...such as "finish this song by next lesson", or "finish hands together for the first page". Better to just give lots of thought to how you intend to work and how much you intend to work, and then let the results fall where they may.

I find the self-imposed deadlines are what really amp up the stress level. Once the deadlines are removed, the act of practicing diligently and intelligently is in and of itself really kind of relaxing. The piece, or page, or whatever, will be finished when it is finished...it really isn't important if it is this week or several weeks hence.

Another alternative to taking a break might be cutting your lessons from an hour to a half hour, or scheduling them every two weeks instead of every week.

good luck,

jim
_________________________
La Fille aux cheveux de lin - Debussy
Ma Mere L'Oye - Ravel
Mozart Sonata K545

Estonia L190 #7284





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#2188708 - 11/26/13 02:46 PM Re: I think I may take a break from lessons for a while [Re: carolinagirl]
shaolin95 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/12/11
Posts: 476
For me changing to biweekly helps a lot. I got more time to prepare even though I find myself practicing even more than before.
_________________________
*Young Chang Y185 6'-1"

*Baldwin Hamilton Studio '67 (gone)

*Young Chang Y150 (Del F design) (gone)

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#2188771 - 11/26/13 04:30 PM Re: I think I may take a break from lessons for a while [Re: carolinagirl]
earlofmar Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/21/13
Posts: 1605
Loc: Australia
I guess for now it is the right decision as you don't need your hobby to be a stressful activity. However dealing with stress in it's many forms is something that needs to be worked on.

The first year is an emotional roller coaster caused mainly by our expectation versus reality. So we try to set our goals and find quite quickly we have to reappraise our situation.....result even more stress.

So it's probably a bit of phase you are going through, a bit of low. It will get better as long as you maintain your practice regime and that is very important. For many, taking lessons is beneficial in that it gives some renewal of enthusiasm each week. So I hope that by stopping you can maintain enthusiasm and maintain a disciplined practice routine.
_________________________
I thought I understood endurance sport; then I took up piano
XXXV-6-XXX

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#2188772 - 11/26/13 04:35 PM Re: I think I may take a break from lessons for a while [Re: carolinagirl]
piano_deb Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/26/05
Posts: 787
Loc: Memphis, TN
I agree that cutting back on the frequency of lessons might be helpful ... but, first things first, it would probably help a lot to discuss this recent revelation with your teacher. Expressing your feelings may instantly help to relieve their intensity. Plus he/she may have suggestions to help you relax about the lessons.

You may be feeling pressure to meet a standard that your teacher doesn't even expect, in whch case talking things over may help put things in perspective and give you a more objective or pragmatic view of your progress.

Or you may suffering a sort of performance anxiety over playing for your teacher. I think that may be the case as as you don't stress out on weeks with no lesson -- but you are still practicing during those weeks, right? -- and you have no concerns over working on your own for a while. So it's not a practice issue.

Either way, talking to your teacher may gain you the insight and help to resolve the problem entirely.

Good luck, and let us know what you decide. smile
_________________________
Deborah
Charles Walter 1500
Happiness is a shiny red piano.

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#2188789 - 11/26/13 04:59 PM Re: I think I may take a break from lessons for a while [Re: JimF]
dmd Online   content
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/15/09
Posts: 1876
Loc: Pennsylvania
Originally Posted By: JimF
let the results fall where they may.

I find the self-imposed deadlines are what really amp up the stress level. Once the deadlines are removed, the act of practicing diligently and intelligently is in and of itself really kind of relaxing. The piece, or page, or whatever, will be finished when it is finished...it really isn't important if it is this week or several weeks hence.


This is a very important concept to embrace.

You have to truly understand that you have no control over the length of time it will take to master a particular piece or passage within the piece. It takes as long as it takes.

Enjoy your time at the piano and practice as much as you have time for within reason and let the chips fall where they may.
you are not on a schedule of when you should accomplish anything. If you carry that attitude it makes your daily practice just a moment you take for your own personal enjoyment without regard for how much you "get done". Just relax and enjoy it.
_________________________
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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#2188805 - 11/26/13 05:21 PM Re: I think I may take a break from lessons for a while [Re: carolinagirl]
Troy 125 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/25/13
Posts: 131
I wish I could go back in time and convince myself to stick with it (lessons) when I was in your same situation. It is such a long learning process. Just depends what your ultimate goal is.


Edited by Troy 125 (11/26/13 05:22 PM)

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#2188847 - 11/26/13 06:21 PM Re: I think I may take a break from lessons for a while [Re: carolinagirl]
findingnemo2010 Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/17/09
Posts: 1491
I've done that as of late. Sometimes it is better to take a step back and really ask yourself why it is you are doing what you are doing. smile
_________________________
music to me is kind of like putting together pieces of a puzzle
i call it the paino because its where i put all my pain

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#2188895 - 11/26/13 07:47 PM Re: I think I may take a break from lessons for a while [Re: carolinagirl]
DinaP Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/31/12
Posts: 152
Definitely speak to your teacher first -- your teacher may have some ideas that will make things a bit easier for you. I'm not sure about stopping entirely -- but I find a lesson every two weeks for an hour works best for me in general.

That being said my teacher is trying to help me through a difficult time where practicing is concerned -- her advice last week was at least play a little bit every day and eventually it will all come together. We have lightened the load a bit and that has helped. I thought about a break but I think for me that would make things worse and I really like and benefit from my teacher.

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#2189003 - 11/27/13 01:11 AM Re: I think I may take a break from lessons for a while [Re: dynamobt]
Charles Cohen Online   content
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/26/12
Posts: 1335
Loc: Richmond, BC, Canada
Originally Posted By: dynamobt
. . . I've quit lessons before. Thought I would practice on my own. I just don't do it. I need the regularity of lessons to keep me motivated. . . .


You're not the only one!<g>

. Charles

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#2189072 - 11/27/13 06:51 AM Re: I think I may take a break from lessons for a while [Re: carolinagirl]
Wouter D'hoye Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/26/13
Posts: 42
Loc: Belgium
Hi,

Personally (but that's just me) I wouldn't quit lessons. I have this mindset: my only goal is to make progress. Any progress is good. I never say, by next week I want to play this piece perfectly. I just want to play it better than before.

I also believe you should take this up with your teacher i'm sure he/she will be able to give you some pointers on how to deal with it. Teacher are well aware that the piano is a hobby and that life comes first.

Truth be told though I'm the kind of person that needs to feel some pressure (call it stress if you want) to accomplish anything. If I know that I am going to see my teacher I want to make sure I can show some progress. If I would not have this pressure I probably would not practice enough to make any progress. And I would feel like I let my teacher down. And letting people down is something I really can't handle well.

Wouter.

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