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#452054 - 12/10/07 02:30 PM Piano Practicing
Mr. Virtuoso Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/03/07
Posts: 20
Loc: meh humps
Hello!

I really appeciate it if any of you could please tell me how to develop a love for praticing the piano. Thanks alot!

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#452055 - 12/10/07 02:46 PM Re: Piano Practicing
Betty Patnude Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/11/07
Posts: 4896
Loc: Puyallup, Washington
Mr. Virtuoso,

Why don't you tell us what you are doing already? What you've done so far, and what you are presently doing?

Do you have any clues as to why these feelings are happening? Is something amiss?

I am hearing you say, you don't like to practice,
it's like a task, and you get easily tired. Is that correct?

Let's all contribute to help you fix that!

Please tell us more.

Betty

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#452056 - 12/10/07 03:23 PM Re: Piano Practicing
BruceD Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 18134
Loc: Victoria, BC
Your question is a little vague, but suggests that you don't already particularly enjoy practicing; many of us enjoy our practice sessions and don't have to look for ways of making the sessions more enjoyable. I know that I look forward to mine every day.

I would think that the "love" for doing anything as repetitive and as time- and as energy-consuming as practicing the piano would come, in part, from knowing that you will gain positive results from your efforts.

Therefore, you should be picking repertoire within your grasp, for which practicing is going to bring positive results. Too many people pick repertoire that is beyong them, technically, and one hears them complain : "I've been working on this for months, and I still can't play it. What's the point?"

You should also be picking repertoire that you enjoy; there's less satisfaction to be gained from working on pieces you don't like - even if you can master them - than from working on pieces that you really enjoy.

Regards,
_________________________
BruceD
- - - - -
Estonia 190

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#452057 - 12/10/07 03:28 PM Re: Piano Practicing
Mr. Virtuoso Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/03/07
Posts: 20
Loc: meh humps
Now, don't get me wrong, I like to practice. I practice three hours a day. It's just that after I practice like up to around two hours, I feel very tired and start to feel drained.

What's unfortunate is that the more I practice trying to make progress, the tired I get. And, I'm just trying to figure out how I develop a love for practicing like the early composers (e.g Bach, Mozart, Beethoven, Chopin, and Liszt). I really need it.

@Betty Patnude,

Just to answer your question, I'm currently trying to play three pieces perfectly and studying music theory for a level-progressing test coming early next year.

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#452058 - 12/10/07 03:40 PM Re: Piano Practicing
jazzyprof Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/30/04
Posts: 2634
Loc: Ann Arbor, MI
 Quote:
Originally posted by Mr. Virtuoso:
Now, don't get me wrong, I like to practice. I practice three hours a day. It's just that after I practice like up to around two hours, I feel very tired and start to feel drained.
[/b]
Why not take a break after those two hours, do something else, take a walk, have a cup of coffee, play with the dog...and then do your third hour of practice after you are restored? It is difficult to maintain one's concentration for three straight hours.
_________________________
"Playing the piano is my greatest joy...period."......JP

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#452059 - 12/10/07 03:42 PM Re: Piano Practicing
BruceD Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 18134
Loc: Victoria, BC
You should never continue practicing after you start to "feel very tired and start to feel drained." Efficient practicing requires that we be alert and attentive to many aspects of playing simultaneously. What results are you going to obtain if you practice under those strained conditions? Your fatigue will mean that your attention and focus are not going to be what they should be; therefore, your results are not going to be what they should be either.

If possible, try re-arranging your schedule so that you can divide your three hours practice time into two separate sessions. While you have the advantage of youth and perhaps stamina over older people like myself, I still don't think anyone should ever practice for more than an hour at a time without taking a substantial break. Just sitting in that one position for more than an hour can be exhausting, so it's not surprising to me that you experience fatigue and loss of inspiration.

Regards,
_________________________
BruceD
- - - - -
Estonia 190

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#452060 - 12/10/07 03:51 PM Re: Piano Practicing
Betty Patnude Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/11/07
Posts: 4896
Loc: Puyallup, Washington
Mr. Virtuoso,

I'm sorry that I don't know you better to give some individual advice, so I'll make a generalization that I would make for any students or developing musicians.

The word perfectly is a catalyst for everything to do wrong - it is an ego statement in my mind - it makes you concentrate on all the things that would bind you from making progress, despite how many hours you put into it. If you simply have high standards, do your best work, and be satisfied or accepting of the outome you will make your most progress. The other negating word you used is "trying".

You want to be in the flow when making music. Sometimes pianists get so wound up in perfect that it is like picking and shelling peas, or taking your temperature when you are sick every 10 minutes to see if it's gone up or down. Monitoring too much can interfere with the making of the music and the expression and interretation. If you are working over your head in this music you are "perfecting" you will not achieve it by practicing 3 hours a day. If you read it easily, you still do not need 3 hours a day unless you have a long track record of playing for 3 hours a day.

Tired does not help you learn and do. Tired is a deficit, and it is not just your brain, it's you muscles, and whole body being tired. Possibly in need of hydration (water) and makeing sure you have eaten enough to sustain you at the piano.

So when we change our attitudes about our music making, we also change (usually improvement) our outcome.

The music theory is a good thing for everyone - however when the theory talks beyond your piano experiences it is not all that helpful to you - it is just more fact to carry around, and the uncertainly to what it means. Theory needs to be taught around what you are developing at your piano.

I'm sorry if you don't like my answers - but, I have the experience of 37 years of teaching all kinds of people with all kinds of goals. I believe mind set and good solid habits are the fastest way to self actualization, with good support,information, and, guidance from the teacher, and patient, deliberate time and effort from the student.

I'm asking you to think about what kind of progress you are really making, and if you want to continue doing exactly what you are doing, or do you want to consider making some changes.

It is when we place huge expectations on our selves that we often cannot deliver because something (plural that) are missing.

So what brings you joy in music?

Betty

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#452061 - 12/10/07 04:10 PM Re: Piano Practicing
Ted2 Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/04/02
Posts: 790
Loc: Auckland, New Zealand
This question arises on forums from time to time. It always puzzles me greatly because every moment at the piano is pure ecstasy for me and always has been since I was a kid. It is obviously insufficient to simply persist regardless with an activity, on the basis of some implicit moral assumption that one somehow "ought" to enjoy it. If you don't like blue cheese, then I fear the compulsion of regularly eating it and wondering why you don't like it seems to me rather perverse.

I find work and discipline at the instrument exceedingly enjoyable, but I have always been the sort of person who interfuses means and ends. The whole process of musical creation is a sort of yoga; everything is mixed up with everything else. To attribute the term "practice" to an activity is almost in defiance of this oneness, as the existence of something which is "not the real thing" implies that there is another activity which is "the real thing".

What is your "real thing" ? Perhaps you allocate it so little time in your musical experience that it has virtually ceased to exist ? Perhaps you have somehow withdrawn permission for yourself to enjoy your playing ? You could try remembering the last time you felt ecstatic and transported by your music. When was that ? How did it happen ? Why did it happen ? Think about how you felt at that time and try to recreate the core stimulus of it each time you sit down at the instrument.

You could always try a process entirely new to you. If you have never improvised or composed, then give it a go. If you have never played jazz or ragtime then try them. It is quite possible and certainly permissible to become tired of even works of genius.

If all these things produce no results then perhaps you are simply in need of a break from music. There is nothing wrong with that.
_________________________
"Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the law" - Aleister Crowley

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#452062 - 12/10/07 04:16 PM Re: Piano Practicing
Mr. Virtuoso Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/03/07
Posts: 20
Loc: meh humps
@Betty Patnude

I actually respect your sage advice. You say you have 37 years of experience; why wouldn't I take your advice? I think my problem is I try to make as much progress as I can in a session. I suppose I should tone it down.

And about, joy in music; I like to improvise/impersonate pieces similar to Mozart, Beethoven, Chopin, and Liszt. I also like many dances and other happy pieces written by them. Does that answer your question?

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#452063 - 12/10/07 04:35 PM Re: Piano Practicing
Betty Patnude Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/11/07
Posts: 4896
Loc: Puyallup, Washington
Mr. Virtuoso,

If I had looked at your profile, I would have seen that your occupation is "Classical Pianist".

If you are into performance and employed in the music business, and highly classical, that is a different slant to the topic. Not suggestions as a learner or developing pianist at all, which is what I related to from your topic. I would stick with the comments I made about attitude and word choices.

I have trouble believing you don't love what you are doing, it's a chore, and you are easily tired - is this a spiritual thing, perhaps? What is the missing link for you? I'm sure many are sympathetic to your plight.

I'm sympathetic because I can no longer do many things I could do as a younger person - arthritic and degenerative discs and some injuries have limited my range of motion and stamina. I work every day (since 2003) on accepting this, and making use of what I have available to me. My 20 minutes to half an hour of playing at any one time is equal to your 3 hours of piano time in that is all I can do, I don't get tired, I cope with movement limitations, and pain. So, in a similar way I need restoration and to seek what will work for me.

I hope very much you find your answer.

Good will to you!

Betty

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#452064 - 12/10/07 04:49 PM Re: Piano Practicing
Mr. Virtuoso Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/03/07
Posts: 20
Loc: meh humps
 Quote:
Originally posted by Betty Patnude:
Mr. Virtuoso,

If I had looked at your profile, I would have seen that your occupation is "Classical Pianist".

If you are into performance and employed in the music business, and highly classical, that is a different slant to the topic. Not suggestions as a learner or developing pianist at all, which is what I related to from your topic. I would stick with the comments I made about attitude and word choices.

I have trouble believing you don't love what you are doing, it's a chore, and you are easily tired - is this a spiritual thing, perhaps? What is the missing link for you? I'm sure many are sympathetic to your plight.

I'm sympathetic because I can no longer do many things I could do as a younger person - arthritic and degenerative discs and some injuries have limited my range of motion and stamina. I work every day (since 2003) on accepting this, and making use of what I have available to me. My 20 minutes to half an hour of playing at any one time is equal to your 3 hours of piano time in that is all I can do, I don't get tired, I cope with movement limitations, and pain. So, in a similar way I need restoration and to seek what will work for me.

I hope very much you find your answer.

Good will to you!

Betty [/b]
Blah blah blah. I'm actually a classical pianist. I'm just a classical pianist looking for some development. I have love for classical music a little more than other music as well. I didn't say I was a concert pianist or in music business. I'm planning to in the future.

[Note to 'Betty Patnude' ala rant]
BTW, if you had looked at my profile!?! Pfft! Don't get all smug at me, lady. Your sob stories and professional bragging has said much anyway. I love my gift! God gave me this gift and I have to grow it nice and clean for sake of expression happy. (Have you ever heard of the plants and the bushes?) Doh! (Just getting in a Homer quote.) YOU GOT THE ATTITUDE! Blah I have blah if you shouldn't blah. Woh! (Just getting in a Michael Jackson quote.) You lady are woh! Write a piece on the 'Ballade' of the Lady'. Cry me a river. Say your name. Say no lies. eimcqpocprpvoqpooqkkxwq (Just getting in my daily spam). !@#$%^&* Pay the piper. >:^D ijncivqlwnclqjcnlq Take it! Take it! Take it!
>:^) Woh! Thriller! (Michael Jackson) Billie Patnude, you not my lover. Woo! *Moonwalks* You gots served, girl. >:^o Ooo.
[Note to 'Betty Patnude' ala rant/]

Anyways, thanks Bruce D and the other 'sages' that DID NOT rub it in. Peace! Doh! :^D

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#452065 - 12/10/07 10:29 PM Re: Piano Practicing
Silent Thoughts Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/30/05
Posts: 314
It's good advice (which has already been given) to take a break the moment you lose focus.

I generally switch repertoire and goals when I begin losing focus. If I'm doing simple metronome work on a difficult Prokofiev passage, when I get tired or unfocused I'll sit on the sofa and read a Bach fugue. When I decide I've reached a good concept of what I'd like my fugue to sound like, I go ahead and work on keeping a good legato line in a Chopin mazurka. I generally change pace like this once in hour, and I end my practice sessions with a "warm-down" by playing slowly through some repertoire I haven't handled in a while. This keeps variety present, and in the end one becomes able to focus for longer amounts of time on the same thing, once you get used to staying focused on whatever it is you're doing at or away from the piano.

But again, it's most important not to push it. When you're tired, you're tired, and it's better to take a mental rest (I like physical excercise in this regard) than to undo everything you've worked on in a practice session by playing poorly at the end of it.

- Silence

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#452066 - 12/12/07 11:31 AM Re: Piano Practicing
KLD Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/06/05
Posts: 66
Loc: Wisconsin
I can't imagine the length of practice you are doing and putting pressure on yourself to make huge strides. The fun has to be completely gone under that circumstance. Betty hit on some very wise points to think on. I think your goals play a big part of how you perceive the journey to get there.
_________________________
Waiting is hard when the future is uncertain. But I wait....

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