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#925330 - 01/25/08 12:01 PM Where does one find motivation to practice?
keithmusic Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/18/07
Posts: 129
Loc: Atlanta, GA
Being a lifer at the piano, having played since the age of 5, I've put in more than enough practice time over the years. But as time passed I noticed many other activities vying for my time. Where did that early motivation come from? Were things just simpler two decades ago? I wanted to introduce this topic to see how others stoke their love of music and practicing so we can inspire each other to go farther in our music development
_________________________
Keith Phillips

www.keithphillips.net
Piano technique for all levels
www.keithphillips.net/AdvancedPianoSecrets.htm

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#925331 - 01/25/08 05:03 PM Re: Where does one find motivation to practice?
jazzyprof Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/30/04
Posts: 2598
Loc: Ann Arbor, MI
Playing the piano is my greatest joy...well, if not the greatest it's certainly next to the love of a good woman. \:\) As a result I need very little motivation to practice. My internal motivation is to become as good as I can be, to be able to play the wonderful compositions of Bach, Chopin, Liszt, Rachmaninoff,... My playing ability grows in direct proportion to the amount of concentrated practice I put in. After a long day doing physics and engineering (my day job) I look forward to unwinding at the piano and using the other side of my brain. Without my piano practice time, my life would feel somewhat impoverished.
_________________________
"Playing the piano is my greatest joy...period."......JP

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#925332 - 01/25/08 09:52 PM Re: Where does one find motivation to practice?
NancyM333 Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/06/06
Posts: 1547
Loc: Roswell, Georgia
I could pretty well copy Jazzyprof's answer (taking out the part about the love of the good woman \:D ) I have three kids and teach half-time each day, and the piano is the one place I can completely immerse myself in something. The way it stimulates my brain is unlike anything else I do. I find it motivating to set goals, to get pieces ready for recording for an e-cital, to play in one of the judged events (that usually have a lot of seven-year-olds, but who cares?), or to get ready for the adult recital we have twice a year. I like to set goals. I wish I were more structured about it like ShiroKuro (do a search for her posts on practice on the AB forum--she's definitely got a great system), but overall I find it a very rewarding hobby.

Nancy
_________________________

Estonia 168, Yamaha UX3

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#925333 - 01/25/08 10:00 PM Re: Where does one find motivation to practice?
currawong Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/15/07
Posts: 5834
Loc: Down Under
 Quote:
Originally posted by keithmusic:
But as time passed I noticed many other activities vying for my time. Where did that early motivation come from? Were things just simpler two decades ago? [/b]
In a way I think it's normal that the sort of dedication one had in one's teens changes as the years go on. It's normal also that other activities are vying for our time - like earning a living, taking the kids to the orthodontist, that sort of thing \:\) . So I don't think that we should expect things to be as they were. However, in some ways my motivation is the same - it's the music. There was so much to discover when I was younger - but there's no less now! When I discover some piece of music I hadn't heard before I think "how did I live before I knew that!" - so just the knowledge that there are many more of those moments to come is motivating.
_________________________
Du holde Kunst...

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#925334 - 01/30/08 09:25 PM Re: Where does one find motivation to practice?
keithmusic Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/18/07
Posts: 129
Loc: Atlanta, GA
Yes, daily activities compete for time spent at the piano. Plus I tracked sampling technology for years and waited for the quality to improve so in recent years that fascination with orchestrating and having good strings and other sounds have kept my interest. But with any good thing we rediscover it over time and solo piano (I've been playing for 36 years so I've had some down time the last few years from the piano) is once again a fascinating event. Somehow it is complete in its simplicity.
_________________________
Keith Phillips

www.keithphillips.net
Piano technique for all levels
www.keithphillips.net/AdvancedPianoSecrets.htm

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#925335 - 02/01/08 03:07 AM Re: Where does one find motivation to practice?
pianobuff Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/09/06
Posts: 1580
Loc: Pacific Northwest
For me life's responsibilities do get in the way of my time to practice.

But other interests do too, which only broadens my musical knowledge.

By broadening my knowledge in music in general, by learning music technology, as well as composing and learning jazz piano and its theory, practicing voice to me compliment my ability to play classical piano. Also a big one, is teaching. By teaching pieces that I want to learn and learning them along with my students, and through my students, helps immensely in keeping up with the "practice" while taking on new musical interests.

The love of practicing has not died, but now that I am older, there seems to be only so many hours in the day and I, although could, am not going to spend it *only* on practicing the piano.

If I didn't have to sleep, I would love to practice 2 hours a day, and yes, the motivation is the mastering of the music.

But there are only so many hours in the day and too many other interesting things to learn.

Of course, this may pass and I will be back, focused on piano once again, but for now... I seem to be juggling.
_________________________
Private Piano Teacher,
member MTNA and Piano Basics Foundation

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#925336 - 02/11/08 12:25 PM Re: Where does one find motivation to practice?
Ashdyre Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/11/08
Posts: 83
Loc: Windsor, Ontario, Canada
My inspiration (or lack there of) has come from all over the place.

I started piano when I was 3, i honnestly don't remember why, most likely because my parents wanted me to play, and my older brother also played and was quite good. In my younger years the main motivation was my parents telling/yelling at me to do it, as well as wanting to be able to be as good as my brother, plus i was the only one in my class who knew piano so it was a good way to show off \:D

As i was in my teen years the novelty of being good at piano wore off because i was exposed to people much younger than I was who were much better, so my only "motivation" was threats from my parents :S Though deep down part of my subconsious motivation was to finish the Royal Conservatory program (first grade 8, then 9, then 10).

After failing (partially) my grade 10 twice i gave up on music for about 2-3 years, when quite by coincidence a music store opened up in my town and they were looking for teachers. It was better pay than McDonalds so off I went, not really caring since music had been out of my life for while.

I've been teaching at this job for 3 years now and every day i am more motivated to learn and to practise. Seeing a child who doesn't know where middle C is, and teaching them how to read music and use dynamics, and seeing them smile when they play a fun song, and take what they've learnt home with them so that they try to teach their parents or siblings, it's so precious and amazing, it's so rewarding to see such acomplishments in a young child and what huge strides they take even with only 10 minutes of practise a day. It motivates me that I can do the same, even with only 10 minutes a day (though usually i practise about 5 hours!) that I can and I will get better, and as long as i love what i'm doing i'll be happy. I want to be able to share my passion of music like these small children do and be so excited even to play the simplest of things, to be happy in no similar way.
_________________________
Love is a friendship set to music.

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#925337 - 02/12/08 09:26 AM Re: Where does one find motivation to practice?
eFatz Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/18/07
Posts: 78
Loc: Singapore
I think to me the motivation when i was young was ... seriously parental intervention. like if i didn't practise properly my dad would hit me with a clothes hanger (i'm not making this up)...
but for now, for my own students, of course i don't hit them (or i will be sitting in jail right now).. but i feel that what i can use to motivate them are as follows
1. weekly goals that are clear, achievable, and realistic.
2. results if they follow my methods.
3. finally showing them that music making is a very enjoyable thing, and not a daily chore to "get over and done with"

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#925338 - 02/12/08 09:43 AM Re: Where does one find motivation to practice?
rada Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/07/06
Posts: 1124
Loc: pagosa springs,co
There is something about walking into a room, seeing a piano [ a very nice grand helps] and thinking....ah....I have a level of achievement with that remarkable giant. I can play that instrument and to some people it will be magical.

rada
www.pianopassions.com

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#925339 - 02/12/08 09:48 PM Re: Where does one find motivation to practice?
keithmusic Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/18/07
Posts: 129
Loc: Atlanta, GA
These are great insights into playing the piano. It's inspiring to hear them. Thanks for sharing! Anyone else? I'm inspired.
_________________________
Keith Phillips

www.keithphillips.net
Piano technique for all levels
www.keithphillips.net/AdvancedPianoSecrets.htm

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#925340 - 02/13/08 12:35 AM Re: Where does one find motivation to practice?
Candywoman Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/14/03
Posts: 824
Where does one find the motivation to do anything else BUT play the piano?

That's what I like doing best, and everything else helps me or hinders me to get to the piano.

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#925341 - 02/13/08 09:58 AM Re: Where does one find motivation to practice?
elainelynn Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/01/07
Posts: 210
Loc: Michigan
Keith, I could have written your opening post. When I was in high school I spent every spare moment and then some sitting at the piano and now I sometimes go for days without touching it \:\( .

For me the inspiration to practice comes from the simple act of just making myself sit down at the piano. Once I'm there, there's no lack of inspiration. It's just getting there that's the problem... so I'm working on it too.

\:\)

Elaine

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#925342 - 02/14/08 04:09 PM Re: Where does one find motivation to practice?
Larisa Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/03/08
Posts: 498
Loc: Philadelphia
Right now, my motivation is a very powerful one - I'm getting performance opportunities, and my music "career", such as it is, is taking off. I have my first solo concert in July - 2 hours of nothing but me. I'm finally getting to play in the important concerts at the ragtime festivals that I play in. People are paying good money for my CD and sheetmusic. It's all a dream come true for me - so I practice.

But also, I'm in law school, and law school is intense and stressful, so piano practice is my refuge from all that. After a full day's worth of lectures, the only thing I want to do is to sit at the piano and play. It's a good way to relieve the stress.

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#925343 - 02/14/08 08:32 PM Re: Where does one find motivation to practice?
currawong Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/15/07
Posts: 5834
Loc: Down Under
I said earlier that my motivation is the music, and that is and always will be true. But then there's the day-to-day motivation which Larisa's post made me reflect on. In my case it's to earn my living (and people will stop engaging me if I'm no good \:\) ), and to do the best I can for and with the musicians I accompany. It isn't just a job to me, but it is a job nevertheless, and I want to do it well.
_________________________
Du holde Kunst...

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#925344 - 02/16/08 05:39 PM Re: Where does one find motivation to practice?
Larisa Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/03/08
Posts: 498
Loc: Philadelphia
In my case, there's not just that, though responsibility is important to me and I don't want to let anyone down - but also, mostly, there's just the sheer, incredulous joy that I could get back into music at all, let alone at the level at which I got back into it. I can't bear to even think of losing it again. So I practice, so I can keep the precious, wonderful gift that Fate has given me. I would do anything to keep it.

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#925345 - 02/16/08 06:42 PM Re: Where does one find motivation to practice?
Innominato Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/05/08
Posts: 802
Loc: London
My two cents.

Important in one's life is what he finds time for. There being only 24 hours in a day and 1 lifetime, there's not much to talk about: tell me how you spend your time and I'll tell you what is really important to you, no ifs and no buts.

So what motivates one person? The fact that his passion for piano is big enough, that enough activity become secondary (I am not speaking of children etc., but of the other thousand hobbies and interests we all have) to allow time for practice. And when this happens, one does not make an effort to find the time, , he will have time as the natural consequence of the choices he has met.

Otherwise he has not passion enough.

I am a passionate motorbiker: suffice it to say that I have six of the things (4 in Germany, 2 here).
Today I renounced to motorbiking, mainly in order to play more piano. Was a choice, but not really a difficult one. Merely something that makes one aware of a certain possible future shifts in the allocation of freetime.... but again the choice came automatically, it was just the consequence of new priorities that I have...

Tomorrow I will drive my bike, though... ;\)

------------------------------------------------

Two lines on motivation before I go to sleep:

Piano dealers' room, Thursday.
From the adjacent room someone is trying a piano. Plays some "Moonlight" and it is impressive enough; but when he starts with Ludovico Einaudi, it is then that I feel full of the following feelings:

1) acute awareness of my own deficiency and inadequacy;
2) acute awareness of how many years have gone by without piano being a priority;
3) intense desire to play, one day, the same piece;
4) strong will of making piano a priority, in order to be able to - one day - play Einaudi that way myself.

If I had seen the chap, perhaps the effect would have been less traumatic.
But I could not see him, it might have been a teen....

I WILL find time for practice.
If sometimes it costs me some time with friends, or at the cinema, or with my bike, I know where my priorites now are...
_________________________
"The man that hath no music in himself / Nor is not mov'd with concord of sweet sounds / Is fit for treasons, stratagems, and spoils." (W.Shakespeare)

Kemble Conservatoire 335025 Walnut Satin

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#925346 - 02/16/08 06:48 PM Re: Where does one find motivation to practice?
Innominato Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/05/08
Posts: 802
Loc: London
P.S.

For self motivation you might want to try this:

http://www.pcsincnet.com/PW_Practice_Club/userscreen.php
_________________________
"The man that hath no music in himself / Nor is not mov'd with concord of sweet sounds / Is fit for treasons, stratagems, and spoils." (W.Shakespeare)

Kemble Conservatoire 335025 Walnut Satin

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#925347 - 02/18/08 06:46 AM Re: Where does one find motivation to practice?
watchyourmind Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/30/07
Posts: 38
Go to youtube and search for your favourite songs and watch other people play them on the piano. That will get you pumped and wanting to jump at the piano practice \:D

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#925348 - 02/18/08 02:16 PM Re: Where does one find motivation to practice?
Folds_Fan Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 02/18/08
Posts: 7
Loc: Spokane, WA
I think this is a really interesting topic. I'm in my teens and I've been playing since 1st grade. As things are now, playing piano isn't exactly the coolest thing to be doing. You know how it is haha. When I was younger, piano was just something I did just cause I did it! I don't really know how else to explain it. My parents never had to remind me or force timers on me. I'd practice everyday. Now that I'm older though, it's not always quite so easy, but I almost always practice at least 5 times a week. The music I'm most interested in is rock, so the classical music I study doesn't fully interest me really. But where I find my motivation to keep playing is that I know that any musical experience is good in the long run. Studying classical has allowed me to develop technical piano skills along with many other equally important skills such as sight reading, music theory, phrasing, feeling, chords/scales and their implementations. But most importantly it has taught me love and appreciation for music. I listen to a broad range of music from classical to jazz to classic rock to metal and I think this a result of my musical training. So what I'm trying to say is that the motivation I get is simply that I know I need to absorb myself in music and experience and enjoy it to become a true musician.

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