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Why do I always hit the wrong notes, when does it get better #1585541
12/28/10 06:17 AM
12/28/10 06:17 AM
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sugarpineamy Offline OP
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Augh! I was going to "make myself" play in the upcoming recital, because I need to get over my fears. I have always refused in the past, partly because I get EXTREMELY nervous, partly because it ruins my enjoyment of my watching my kids' play (because I am feeling nervous) and mostly because I can't seem to play even a simple piece w/o hitting wrong notes. It doesn't seem to matter how many times I practice or how well I think I know it, once I think someone will be listening, I hit a slew of wrong notes. Even if its my teacher. Makes me so frustrated! How do people play big long classical pieces and do it so well? How many years of playing does it take before you can pick up a piece of music and just play it without hitting a bunch of wrong notes? Is it "normal" to hit wrong notes a lot when you are a beginner and how many YEARS does one still "count" as a beginner? My son is not a good one to compare myself to, he seems to have natural talent. My daughter also seems to pick this up easier then me. So, I wonder if I am "where I should be" or..? ANd I sure don't want to play in public what "looks like" a simple song and hit lots of wrong notes...augh, why would I put myself through that? I really would love to get over fear of playing in public and the only way to get over it is to DO it I am sure but maybe I need to wait a few years until I play better! People forgive little kids stumbling through a piece, people will be mortified for me if I do!
Amy


Amy
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"Ask the animals, and they will teach you...For the life of every living thing is in his hand, and the breath of all humanity." (Job 12:7a,10, NLT)
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Re: Why do I always hit the wrong notes, when does it get better [Re: sugarpineamy] #1585547
12/28/10 07:01 AM
12/28/10 07:01 AM
Joined: Feb 2009
Posts: 1,236
London UK
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Exalted Wombat Offline
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If your hand and fingers are in position over the RIGHT notes, it;s impossible to play wrong ones! Play a piece very slowly. Slowly enough to not make ANY mistakes. If some do creep in, analyse why you weren't in the right place to play the right note, and sort it out!

Re: Why do I always hit the wrong notes, when does it get better [Re: sugarpineamy] #1585550
12/28/10 07:10 AM
12/28/10 07:10 AM
Joined: Sep 2010
Posts: 1,264
Melbourne, Australia
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I want the answer to this question too!



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Re: Why do I always hit the wrong notes, when does it get better [Re: sugarpineamy] #1585564
12/28/10 07:44 AM
12/28/10 07:44 AM
Joined: Dec 2010
Posts: 225
Ohio
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I may not be the best person to answer this question as I still hit a few wrong notes myself, but I've noticed some improvement over the past several months, so I'll throw this out:

1) Relax! The minute I tense up, my fingers stop cooperating. I know that this is a lot easier said then done, with the pressure of a teacher or an audience, or whatever else, but it is essential. This might sound a little weird, but its really a matter of entering into a kind of meditative state so that your conscious mind is engaged but doesn't screw up the process. How you get there will be entirely different from how anybody else does, but you need to get there.

2) Improve the quality of your practicing. Which is not to say that it isn't good (I don't know), but I find that when I make an almost exaggerated effort to practice effectively, my fingers just seem to find their way. Practice at slow tempos, learn the fingerings well, don't move ahead until you have what you're working on in hand. Don't just bang the piece out; it won't help and it will likely hurt.

3) Relax. Regulate your breathing, calm you mind, and make music.

That's all I got.


I'm a masochist. I play the piano for pleasure.
Re: Why do I always hit the wrong notes, when does it get better [Re: sugarpineamy] #1585569
12/28/10 07:51 AM
12/28/10 07:51 AM
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Jersey Shore
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The more I keep reading the more it comes down to:

We have heard it many, many times slow down and play it right every time. This mean so slow you have time to make sure its always the right note coming up next. The next key is the fingering must always be locked in exactly the way you want it. Then always use the same fingering. Then gradually bring up the speed, but don't make errors.

Use the metronome.

I'm like you guys, I seem to have those errors, but I'm working on the new system as much as it hurts.




Re: Why do I always hit the wrong notes, when does it get better [Re: sugarpineamy] #1585571
12/28/10 07:52 AM
12/28/10 07:52 AM
Joined: Dec 2010
Posts: 7
Norway
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Hi Amy

I am a beginner at the piano myself, and hitting the wrong note happens frequently, and for many people it will happen even more frequently when someone is listening. However, there are things that can help. I can only speak for myself, and my own experience, but I find that recording myself playing helps, because then I will feel like, now I MUST NOT play wrong. Of course that is when I begin to make mistakes. However, after a while this feeling will subside because you get used to the recorder "listening" to you, and at least for me, I find that I make less mistakes.

I think the major cause for this nervousness of playing in front of people is created in our minds. In other words, I believe it is not so much a question of building technique (although that is important too) but rather learning to be in the right state of mind. We (beginners) often believe that people are watching or listening to see if we make mistakes, and that if they hear a mistake they will make fun of it. But in reality I think most people listen because they enjoy listening to someone who can play the piano. How often do you not hear "Oh, I wish I could play the piano like that". I hear it often anyway, even though I am a beginner and certainly not very good. To give you an idea of my skill level, I am currently learning Watermark by Enya.

The key is to relax and enjoy playing the piano, even when someone is listening. Relax and focus on not speeding away to finish the song as quickly as possible. If you begin to speed up the tempo it is of course much easier to make a mistake. Also I have found that for some reason when people are listening, I kind of begin to play using sloppy technique. It is like I sometimes consider myself so poor a player that I believe others will think it is strange if I actually played well. It sounds stupid, and I know this thought is only in my head, but still this happens to me sometimes. I think if you imagine that you are a better pianist than you are, and enjoy hitting the keys and try to sort of connect with the piano, feeling the music emerge for every key you hit, the anxiety for making mistakes might lessen, simply because you may realize that you actually play very well. It works for me, when I am actually able to do it. As a final note ... and to put it a little Yoda-ish: To play well, the music you must become. Listen not, but feeeeel the music flow through you.

Interestingly, many expert pianists seem to not care at all if they hit the wrong note.

I don't know if this was of much help, but it is how I feel about it anyway.

Re: Why do I always hit the wrong notes, when does it get better [Re: sugarpineamy] #1585575
12/28/10 07:59 AM
12/28/10 07:59 AM
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Italy
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Italy
What is possibly happening is that you think you know your piece, but really you don't know it as well as you think. That's what happened (happens still but a little less) to me.

Many times I've prepared, and tried to play for my teacher, my husband, a friend - only to find that I made a ton of errors. Part of it is pure nerves - but part is also not really having the piece memorized.

Everyone talks about playing slowly - that makes a big difference. When you that try also saying the names of the notes - you'll start to find patterns, which is very cool.

Also, make sure you are learning small small parts of your pieces (often you'll find that 4 measures is a logical choice). This really helps you focus and get the music in your system. Practice 4 measures until you can play them without the book - then even try playing with your eyes shut. Then move on.
You don't even have to start at the beginning of the piece - you can jump straight to the hardest piece.

That will help with learning the pieces.
In the end though, it seems that the only way to conquer the problem of nerves is to take every opportunity you can to play for others.

How long have you been playing?


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Re: Why do I always hit the wrong notes, when does it get better [Re: sugarpineamy] #1585584
12/28/10 08:13 AM
12/28/10 08:13 AM
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Rochester Hills, MI
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I have found practiciing SLOWLY and working on small sections of music has helped me a lot. I found a great suggestion on this forum a while ago regarding metronomes. Paraphrasing, "The metronome reminds me of how slowly I am supposed to be practicing."

Re: Why do I always hit the wrong notes, when does it get better [Re: sugarpineamy] #1585595
12/28/10 08:33 AM
12/28/10 08:33 AM
Joined: Apr 2007
Posts: 16,394
Boynton Beach, FL
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When do you stop hitting wrong notes? Never. However, you can minimize them if you ALLOW them to happen and FORGIVE yourself for them, or laugh them off. Some mistakes happen for a reason and we should learn from them, but some happen because we are trying so hard not to make a mistake and that we can't be free to play expressively. When we try to put creativity in such a tight box, then things start to fall apart.

When you practice, do you not let yourself make a mistake? Do you put pressure on yourself to play perfectly? Probably not. And yet, we somehow expect that putting this restraint on us when we perform is a good idea. Nothing good comes from it, and chances are you *will* make mistakes. That's OK. It doesn't ruin an entire piece if you do, because you still have something worth saying. However, you can let it ruin an entire piece if you don't have the right attitude.


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Re: Why do I always hit the wrong notes, when does it get better [Re: sugarpineamy] #1585599
12/28/10 08:41 AM
12/28/10 08:41 AM
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Posts: 88
Central Fl
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Hi Amy. First, don't compare yourself to kids. It seems they can pick up all manner of things quickly. And stay away from recitals for now, they are too stressful.

I've been playing for over five years now and still have the problems you describe, but not quite as bad. Experience has taught me they are due to not knowing the piece as well as you think you do and losing concentration while playing.

If there two measures are giving you problems, play them slowly until you get it right. And then play it correctly three times or so to get it into your subconscious correctly. You may laugh at this but I figure I've played the twelve major scales over 11,000 times since June. I used to get soooo frustrated that I could never play all twelve w/o a mistake. Then finally one day it happened - no mistakes. Now I play them mistake free 8 out of ten times.

For me the other issue is concentration. If anything distracts me while playing it is all over. I need to get over that. If you've ever watched professional musicians on stage they talk to each other while playing. The conclusion I draw is they so thoroughly familiar w/ the material and confident of their abilities it all comes together.

Successes grow confidence. Just keep at it, thats what I'm doing and it seems to be working.

Re: Why do I always hit the wrong notes, when does it get better [Re: sugarpineamy] #1585622
12/28/10 09:13 AM
12/28/10 09:13 AM
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Posts: 42
Vero Beach, FL
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Hi Amy,

I understand your dilemma. I get very nervous with people listening, and worse when they are watching. While playing, I find myself wanting to hurry through the piece, and that causes me to miss notes, and then the whole thing falls apart. In part, I’m 48, and playing Old McDonald, Home on the Range and the like. I want to be playing more “adult” pieces. I’m getting there. I just need to master these basics. I see progress

As for your recital, I urge you to try. Set up a mock recital at home. Set a few chairs around the piano, and have your family and a friend or two over to enjoy your performance. You go first, then your kids.( Have the teacher place you before your kids too, that way you’re done, and you can relax and enjoy the kids.) Walk to the piano, smile and bow to your guests, sit and get comfortable, and just play a scale or something simple (cdefgfedc, defgagfed, efgabagfe) and make it musical < >. Finish, stand, smile and bow to thank your audience. Then enjoy your kids.

You just had your first recital. If you feel up to it, try an encore and play a piece you’ve been practicing. My teacher has me do “performance practice.” That means I play through the mistakes, no backing up or replaying of a note, no grimacing. Just play through as if you mean to play every note you play. As an accomplished concert pianist, he says he can miss a note, and everybody does. The trick is to just play through. Remember, it’s a performance, a show.

As for the audience at the big recital, they are all there for the sole purpose of supporting a student or two that they know. You’ll get great support, and a good round of applause no matter what, or how you play. They all know it takes guts just to stand and bow to them, let alone play for them. Your teacher will likely welcome the audience, and set the stage for the recital, telling them that there are students of all ages and abilities. In my case, I think the youngest was around 6, and the oldest was 84. There was a gentleman in his seventies at my level, and everything in between. I did make some goofs on my second song, but I pretended I didn’t, kept the beat, and finished. No one laughed, snickered or booed. I survived. I turned the page (I trust you’ll have the music, and not be playing from memory), wiped my hands, took a deep breath, and played my last song. Applause! With my first recital behind me, I’m actually looking forward to my next recital when I’ll be playing more complex, more “adult” pieces. Be proud of what you’re doing, and advance at your own pace. I know you can do it.


Mason & Hamlin "A" -- 21466 (1913)
Re: Why do I always hit the wrong notes, when does it get better [Re: sugarpineamy] #1585665
12/28/10 10:41 AM
12/28/10 10:41 AM
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Boynton Beach, FL
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Something else that can contribute to hitting wrong notes is inconsistent fingering when playing. You should be using the same fingering every time to play a piece, assuming the fingering you've chosen is efficient. At first it's often best to use the editor's fingering for pieces, but sometimes if that doesn't work after you've tried it for a while, then you may need to figure something else out. Usually, however, it's when you change fingering each time you play something that causes mistakes because you've never established muscle memory. Just a thought, I'm not sure if this is the case or not for you.


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Re: Why do I always hit the wrong notes, when does it get better [Re: sugarpineamy] #1585679
12/28/10 11:00 AM
12/28/10 11:00 AM
Joined: Apr 2009
Posts: 154
El Paso, TX
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For me, what Morodiene says rings true,
Quote
Some mistakes happen for a reason and we should learn from them, but some happen because we are trying so hard not to make a mistake and that we can't be free to play expressively.


So for me and i suffer from the same as yourself, it comes down to a different state of mind or a different type of focus from when your practicing. This is how i would describe it. Imagine going for a walk along a footpath, about two feet wide, not a difficult task. Suspend the path 500 feet above the ground and the same task becomes more difficult as your mindset or type of focus changes. I think learning to just focus on the path and not anything outside of it is important.


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Re: Why do I always hit the wrong notes, when does it get better [Re: steveMac] #1585756
12/28/10 01:13 PM
12/28/10 01:13 PM
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Posts: 12
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Hi Amy, You are struggling with two things: making mistakes and nerves when playing in front of others. One important thing to remember is "MISTAKES HAPPEN" even to the pros. It's how you handle these mistakes that count. If you stop, beat yourself up, make faces, let some profanity fly, etc you aren't helping yourself at all. When you make the mistakes, keep on going if it's a small mistake. If it's a big mistake, pause for a microsecond and repeat the measure or even the entire line if you have to.

About nerves. Some people are just born with tons of confidence; most of the rest of us are not. It does help to play in front of others - start easy with family members, then move to one or two close friends, and slowly ease up to playing for larger groups or people you don't so well.

If you combine the theory of "play through your mistakes" and gradually increase your comfort level playing for others, you will find out that it can be lots of fun!

Good luck and whatever happens, don't beat yourself up. Remember, this is supposed to be fun!


YellowDog1040
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Re: Why do I always hit the wrong notes, when does it get better [Re: sugarpineamy] #1585776
12/28/10 01:40 PM
12/28/10 01:40 PM
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Originally Posted by sugarpineamy
People forgive little kids stumbling through a piece, people will be mortified for me if I do!
That sentence is absolutely false.

Play at the recital, do it now. It will never be the right time, no matter how long you wait; you have to just decide and do it.

If you know that somebody who really hates you (like your ex from a recent & terrible divorce) is coming to the recital just to cause problems, that is an excellent reason to not play. Otherwise, you're just making silly excuses and it's time to get over it.


(I'm a piano teacher.)
Re: Why do I always hit the wrong notes, when does it get better [Re: david_a] #1585799
12/28/10 02:02 PM
12/28/10 02:02 PM
Joined: Aug 2008
Posts: 3,886
New York
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Originally Posted by david_a
Otherwise, you're just making silly excuses and it's time to get over it.


David
You are too harsh about this. what good is it to play in a recital when you know you are not going to perform well, whatever the reason?? If the OP really WANTS to play at a recital, he/she needs to be better prepared rather than thrown in last minute and be subjected to a traumatic debut. If, however, playing at a recital is not something the student really wants to go through, then there is no purpose or reason to foster an inferiority complex or a second class citizen-musician state in them.

Re: Why do I always hit the wrong notes, when does it get better [Re: sugarpineamy] #1585803
12/28/10 02:08 PM
12/28/10 02:08 PM
Joined: Feb 2006
Posts: 2,572
France
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landorrano Offline
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Hi Amy

I'd like to offer a suggestion: read out loud the piece that you are playing.

As silly as you may feel, read the names of the notes, giving them their rhythmic value, and maintaining the tempo as best as you can, in a clear a confident voice. Go as slow as you need to to maintain the tempo. After a while you will read it fluidly, as if you are reading a soliloquy from Shakespeare, and with a great deal of expression, every time encountering a new and deeper meaning. Then go a step further, say the names of the notes or even sing them ( pronoucing the names ) while you play, as expressively as you can, as you would want it to sound coming through the piano.

It will transform your playing and go a long way to remedy the problem that you explain, as you will be trying to say something when you play instead of trying to play the right (or the wrong) notes.

Good luck!

Last edited by landorrano; 12/28/10 02:09 PM.
Re: Why do I always hit the wrong notes, when does it get better [Re: Andromaque] #1585844
12/28/10 03:13 PM
12/28/10 03:13 PM
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Originally Posted by Andromaque
Originally Posted by david_a
Otherwise, you're just making silly excuses and it's time to get over it.


David
You are too harsh about this. what good is it to play in a recital when you know you are not going to perform well, whatever the reason??
I agree that my tone is too harsh. However, there is a huge group of adult students in the world who would prefer to stay in their little world of "the perpetual not yet", and never get around to playing something. No one who's honest is ever 100% satisfied with their performance. Wanting to wait until you ARE 100% satisfied (which never will happen) is what makes students into second-class musicians - or more accurately non-musicians.

I suggest setting a concrete goal and sticking to it: for example, "This is my recital piece, and when I have played it five times in a row without mistakes then I will play at the very next available recital."

Due to dis-satisfaction or embarrassment or whatever, many adult students keep on "moving the goalposts" so that they can avoid ever walking onto the stage. Such a plan does not serve them well.


(I'm a piano teacher.)
Re: Why do I always hit the wrong notes, when does it get better [Re: sugarpineamy] #1585856
12/28/10 03:36 PM
12/28/10 03:36 PM
Joined: Dec 2010
Posts: 8
PA
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sugarpineamy Offline OP
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Wow you guys, lots of good ideas and I plan to try several of them!!

I originally planned to "never play at a recital until I was advanced" (so I wouldn't be as embarrassed by the level of my playing) but had decided I "NEED" to play in public to get over my fear, so maybe just realizing I should do it is half the battle. I didn't take any advice as harsh.

The ideas on saying the notes out loud is a great one, also great ideas were having mini home recitals, playing slowly, keeping same fingering, recording myself, etc...all great ideas, thanks!

I was asked how long I have been playing. I just looked it up. I started September 16, 2008 but my teacher is gone a lot and doesn't do it in the summer. Really less then two years. Yes, I shouldn't compare myself to the kids or anyone but boy that's hard not to do!

I am using Accelerated Piano Adventures and am almost done with Books 2, I find those books easy. I also play out of other books (not in a series) which are more challenging. Has anyone used Edwin McLean's "Miniatures"? Published by JFH. It has some really nice pieces that are "just challenging enough" for someone with at my level and most of them I really liked (a couple I didn't care for but overall I liked most).

Thanks so much!! I will keep plugging. Feel encouraged just not to be "alone."
Amy



Amy
Sugarpine
PA
"Ask the animals, and they will teach you...For the life of every living thing is in his hand, and the breath of all humanity." (Job 12:7a,10, NLT)
Re: Why do I always hit the wrong notes, when does it get better [Re: david_a] #1585878
12/28/10 04:36 PM
12/28/10 04:36 PM
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Posts: 2,496
Virginia, USA
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Originally Posted by david_a
Originally Posted by sugarpineamy
People forgive little kids stumbling through a piece, people will be mortified for me if I do!
That sentence is absolutely false.

Play at the recital, do it now. It will never be the right time, no matter how long you wait; you have to just decide and do it.


+1

I posted about my first recital a little while ago. We all made mistakes. The guy playing the hardest piece made the most of all. The only reason I was OK going into my recital was that I had accepted I would make mistakes; I would fix those I could but I would accept the ones I couldn't and enjoy myself.

I guarantee you - people will get more pleasure out of a performance where you are enjoying yourself and make mistakes than one where you are miserable!!!


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Re: Why do I always hit the wrong notes, when does it get better [Re: sugarpineamy] #1585889
12/28/10 04:53 PM
12/28/10 04:53 PM
Joined: Mar 2010
Posts: 7,016
Italy
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Amy it is great that you have pieces that are "challenging enough" for you. There are times when simple pieces just make us feel babyish, but the material we'd like to play is still way beyond our skills - finding something enjoyable that is playable and just enough of a challenge is a delicate balance!

Glad you have some good ideas to work with from this thread!
Good luck


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Re: Why do I always hit the wrong notes, when does it get better [Re: david_a] #1585993
12/28/10 07:53 PM
12/28/10 07:53 PM
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Andromaque Offline
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Originally Posted by david_a


Due to dis-satisfaction or embarrassment or whatever, many adult students keep on "moving the goalposts" so that they can avoid ever walking onto the stage. Such a plan does not serve them well.


You are too rigid about that. Not everyone wants to be on stage, neither should they frankly.. I hate amateur recitals.. Why bother when you can hear the music played a million times better?? Now for those (and their teachers)who get a kick or a sense of achievement out of it, that is fine..
It does not necessarily imply that non-performers cannot develop their musicianship ..

This subject irritates me to no end. I know we have exchanged some thoughts about it before but I still don't get your rationale. And it does touch a nerve for me, because my own teacher is in constant nagging mode about this. I figure if I can convince you, I might have a chance with him. smile

Sorry if this is detracting from the topic of this thread. Obviously here is a situation where Amy really wants to perform, in which case your advice is well taken..

Re: Why do I always hit the wrong notes, when does it get better [Re: Andromaque] #1585998
12/28/10 08:01 PM
12/28/10 08:01 PM
Joined: Apr 2007
Posts: 16,394
Boynton Beach, FL
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Originally Posted by Andromaque
Originally Posted by david_a


Due to dis-satisfaction or embarrassment or whatever, many adult students keep on "moving the goalposts" so that they can avoid ever walking onto the stage. Such a plan does not serve them well.


You are too rigid about that. Not everyone wants to be on stage, neither should they frankly.. I hate amateur recitals.. Why bother when you can hear the music played a million times better?? Now for those (and their teachers)who get a kick or a sense of achievement out of it, that is fine..
It does not necessarily imply that non-performers cannot develop their musicianship ..

This subject irritates me to no end. I know we have exchanged some thoughts about it before but I still don't get your rationale. And it does touch a nerve for me, because my own teacher is in constant nagging mode about this. I figure if I can convince you, I might have a chance with him. smile

Sorry if this is detracting from the topic of this thread. Obviously here is a situation where Amy really wants to perform, in which case your advice is well taken..


I have had different opinions on this and will probably continue to waffle. I always encourage my adults to participate in recitals, and will always encourage them. The reason being is that having a specific goal and deadline really is great for milestones. If they are embarrassed to play in front of a large group, then they can play at adult group lessons (which consists of 3-4 adults) and participate in music festivals where it's just them and the judge in the room. Having such milestones really allows students to see their accomplishments and to feel like they are progressing. Having that goal and going for it does wonders to increase their self-confidence.

However, I don't push. Sometimes I know that there are those who have no desire to perform. They are driven internally and simply want to work on pieces and enjoy them alone or along family and friends in informal gatherings. I can respect that.


private piano/voice teacher FT

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Re: Why do I always hit the wrong notes, when does it get better [Re: sugarpineamy] #1586031
12/28/10 09:04 PM
12/28/10 09:04 PM
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Melbourne, Australia
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There is a saying about the difference between student and professional musicians. Students practising until they get it right. Professionals practise until they can never get it wrong.

This makes me think of altering the way I practise. Places where I tend to hit the wrong notes, I'll need to find a way to practise it to the point that I cannot get it wrong. It also makes me think of the way I memorize a piece, to find a way that I won't have "blackouts" when nervous. I tend to relay a lot on "muscle memory". So when I'm nervous it affects my playing. perhaps I need to go further and understand the piece more.

Hmmm... I might talk to my teacher about this in the next lesson and see what tips he can offer.



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Re: Why do I always hit the wrong notes, when does it get better [Re: sugarpineamy] #1586060
12/28/10 10:02 PM
12/28/10 10:02 PM
Joined: Mar 2008
Posts: 476
Roswell, GA, USA
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You may want to consider what we are all trying to do when playing the piano relative to what the human hand is meant to do. For the first 99.99+ percent of human existence, there was no such thing as a keyboard instrument. Our hands were designed to grasp objects, gather food, and carry children. None of this required independent hand movement. Now along comes the piano, and we want to not only move our fingers independently, we want the right and left hands to do this simultaneously while doing two different motions - and this all needs to happen in a precise rhythm, with a precise acceleration and stroke, and to happen fairly quickly. When you think about all that, the surprising part is not that we make mistakes, but that any of us can do this at all.

Any teacher can tell you the average rate that a student will progress, and can also tell you that there is an enormous variation between individuals. Some students will be playing early intermediate music in six months, others in three years. I have a daughter who started lessons shortly before I did, and she is somewhat amused by my slow progress, since she is able to progress more quickly than I do with about a third as much practice time. One of the reasons that I'm an adult beginner is that I have a talented sister, and as a child when I compared my rate of progress to hers, I determined that I was hopeless and gave up. If it makes you feel any better, you're progressing more quickly than I am. I started a little later than you did, and am just finishing up Piano Adventures level 2A, while it sounds like you are about done with 2B.


We all get frustrated, and this is a good place to vent. Just realize what you are going through is normal for someone of average talent. There are some out there who just have a gift for piano and will progress more rapidly, but not all of us do.


Piano self teaching on and off from 2002-2008. Took piano instruction from Nov 2008- Feb 2011. Took guitar instruction Feb 2011-Jul 2013. Can't play either. Living, breathing proof some people aren't cut out to make music.
Re: Why do I always hit the wrong notes, when does it get better [Re: Tubbie0075] #1586063
12/28/10 10:05 PM
12/28/10 10:05 PM
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Beautiful San Diego, CA
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Originally Posted by Tubbie0075
I want the answer to this question too!

The answer's easy - stop playing other people's music and you won't hit any wrong notes. smile


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Re: Why do I always hit the wrong notes, when does it get better [Re: Tubbie0075] #1586068
12/28/10 10:27 PM
12/28/10 10:27 PM
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Originally Posted by Tubbie0075
This makes me think of altering the way I practise. Places where I tend to hit the wrong notes, I'll need to find a way to practise it to the point that I cannot get it wrong.
This part has a solution. It is not "getting to the point" where you don't get it wrong, but simply never getting it wrong in the first place. That may sound like a terrible burden, but it isn't. Just play your first few tries slowly enough that you can very easily play everything correctly. That may mean a snail's pace, but who cares? Even if it takes you forty minutes to play a page, that doesn't matter.


(I'm a piano teacher.)
Re: Why do I always hit the wrong notes, when does it get better [Re: Andromaque] #1586079
12/28/10 11:00 PM
12/28/10 11:00 PM
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Originally Posted by Andromaque

You are too rigid about that. Not everyone wants to be on stage, neither should they frankly.. I hate amateur recitals.. Why bother when you can hear the music played a million times better?? Now for those (and their teachers)who get a kick or a sense of achievement out of it, that is fine..
It does not necessarily imply that non-performers cannot develop their musicianship ..

This subject irritates me to no end. I know we have exchanged some thoughts about it before but I still don't get your rationale. And it does touch a nerve for me, because my own teacher is in constant nagging mode about this. I figure if I can convince you, I might have a chance with him. smile
Developing your musicianship is pointless. You can hear it a million times better on recordings. The only reason any of us do this anymore is other people.


(I'm a piano teacher.)
Re: Why do I always hit the wrong notes, when does it get better [Re: sugarpineamy] #1586112
12/28/10 11:48 PM
12/28/10 11:48 PM
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I do it for my own pleasure. So do all the rest of you.. Some need the pleasure (or adulation) of others too.

Re: Why do I always hit the wrong notes, when does it get better [Re: sugarpineamy] #1586146
12/29/10 12:36 AM
12/29/10 12:36 AM
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The key, I believe, is simple but difficult: preparation of the fingers over the right notes, and slow, FOCUSED (key word!)practice. As mentioned above, if your fingers are above the right keys, you cannot miss.

david_a, could you explain why developing musicianship is pointless? If you are a piano teacher, are you teaching your students to simply strike keys in a mechanical fashion, with no understanding of the musical context and why what they are playing sounds, or should sound, as it does? Please let me know, I am a bit confused!

EDIT: grin Nevermind, I read your other posts and see that it was said in sarcasm....

Last edited by paquijote; 12/29/10 12:39 AM.
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