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Re: Wish I never bought my grand piano
MichelleM #1734910 08/17/11 06:58 AM
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MichelleM, I'm sorry to hear about your woe's and the insensitivity of your so-called friends and neighbors. You have a piano that many individuals only dream of having. And, I would imagine your playing is coming along just fine. I agree with all the others, playing the piano is a personal enjoyment that we all want and need.

Hang in there, and open that piano fall board back up and enjoy yourself! thumb

Bill, I don't agree that you have not played for an audiance... you have played for millions of us on YouTube!! And, you are a "rock star" as far as I'm concerned! laugh

Rick

Last edited by Rickster; 08/17/11 07:26 AM.

Piano enthusiast and amateur musician: "Treat others the way you would like to be treated". Yamaha C7. YouTube Channel
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Re: Wish I never bought my grand piano
MichelleM #1734914 08/17/11 07:04 AM
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Oh Michelle, that is such a sad story. I wish I could wave a magic wand and get you back to playing again. It's so sad how we can let negative comments shatter our confidence. I'm prone to that myself, and it's compounded by the fact that I'm an amateur composer. Fortunately I had 2 very accomplished player/composers early on tell me that my stuff was good. For some reason, that helped me not get blown off course by later criticisms.

3 funny examples of negative feedback: 1) "No, I REALLY don't like that song", 2) "that recording sounds like crap, you may as well use a $29.95 Casio from Wal-Mart", or 3) my favorite comment about something I wrote with multiple instrument parts on synthesizer-- "that guitar sound reminds me of a cross between a chicken scratching the sidewalk and the sound of the dental hygienists tool scraping my teeth."

So, hang in there Michelle, and please get back to playing. What matters most is if YOU like what you hear. No matter what our skill level, there will always be those who have something negative to say. Learn what you can from their critiques, but don't let them have so much power over you.


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Re: Wish I never bought my grand piano
MichelleM #1734916 08/17/11 07:07 AM
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People who put down your playing are usually jealous...When that happens, I take it as a compliment in disguise.


Piano teacher.
Re: Wish I never bought my grand piano
MichelleM #1734919 08/17/11 07:13 AM
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Some great advice above. In a nutshell... decide why you play. If it's for yourself and because you love piano then to heck with what anyone says.

If you are looking for someone supportive to listen, record a piece and submit it to the recital or the piano bar here on the amateur forum. You will get positive feedback and will feel a lot better about your playing.

Re: Wish I never bought my grand piano
MichelleM #1734924 08/17/11 07:24 AM
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I'm sorry that people were insensitive enough to make such comments to you. frown

It's hard to not to take it to heart. Often, when people say things like this, they'll add something like, "Don't you want me to be honest?" Well, it's possible to be "honest" but completely off-target at the same time! Are they comparing you to a concert pianist with years of specialized training, or are they looking at your progress, your potential, the special things that you do really well? Are they hearing your joy at playing and improving, and do they recognize that amazing sense of possibility that you see in someone who is learning?

One of my teachers once told me that recognizing what you're doing well is just as important as recognizing where you need improvement. It sounds like your old teacher helped you to realize both. It also sounds like you've now lost the positive sense of your playing and people are only filling your ears with non-constructive negativity.

Nothing has changed, you still are amazing and still can play anything. Don't forget everything positive that your old teacher told you, because it's all still true! Why wouldn't it be?

Re: Wish I never bought my grand piano
MichelleM #1734936 08/17/11 07:42 AM
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I think we need to maintain a healthy balance on how we respond to negative feedback, because unless it's motivated by jealousy or malice, there is almost always something we can learn from criticism. Unconditional positive feedback from people who always want to be "nice" is useless and meaningless to me.

For me it's important to decide how qualified the critic is. Plus, the way my head works, if the negative criticism is presented within the context of encouragement and support, that helps. My teacher does it perfectly. She encourages what's good and points out what needs work, and she understands the importance of timing-- when to say what. After about a year of lessons she said "You have ZERO technique!" That may sound harsh, but it was true (I'm a recovering accordion player). I asked her why she hadn't told me that earlier, and she said it was because I would not have been ready to hear it.

I guess I'm mostly saying there is a place for negative feedback and we need to learn to accept it, put it in it's proper context and learn from it. Every time I watch a horrendously bad singer on "American Idol", I think someone should have told this person long ago that they do not sing well. But instead, everyone around them told them they were great because they didn't want to hurt their feelings. But, the truth always has a way of imposing itself sooner or later. I say better that it come sooner, rather than later on national television!


1995 Baldwin L grand
2001 Baldwin Hamilton upright
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www.larrylarsonpiano.com
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Re: Wish I never bought my grand piano
MichelleM #1734945 08/17/11 08:03 AM
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The other thing is to get a few songs down well. I have just 5 that I can whip out any time, anywhere, that sound good.

I never let guests here me playing a piece I am learning. I try to practice new pieces when alone or using a digital with headphones. Once I get a musically sounding section of a song down, I practice that in front of my family.

Maybe your husband and neighbor are judging you based on pieces you are just learning.

Always have a couple pieces at hand to play confidently in front of others.


Acoustic: Yamaha C6 with AdSilent
Digital: Yamaha N3X, Kawai VPC1 with Pianoteq
Re: Wish I never bought my grand piano
MichelleM #1734951 08/17/11 08:18 AM
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Now is the time to open up that grand and work on putting some of that feeling into a piece. Pick a piece and make it feel just like you're feeling now. I would see it as played slowly, maybe pausing at the end of some measures, softly and then into some forte areas when you think of what's been said about your playing. Turn the piece into what you're feeling.

I've recently had my face stomped into the ground in regards to another instrument I use. While I'm still disappointed, discouraged and just plain upset, I've learned to put that into my music and it sounds good.

My self confidence sucks. I have to play and practice for myself. It's rare that I let others (outside of my immediate family) hear anything I've practiced.

I'd encourage you to go put your feelings into a piece and just play it out. Try it. smile


Started piano Dec 2009
----------------------
Working on:
-Anything composed by D. Nevue
Re: Wish I never bought my grand piano
MichelleM #1734957 08/17/11 08:32 AM
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Your piano is not the cause of your pain but the vessel to joy. Take solace here you are in good company.








Re: Wish I never bought my grand piano
MichelleM #1734965 08/17/11 08:50 AM
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Their comments were just plain cruel and insensitive, but I'll bet that they didn't mean them that way. People are sometimes very thoughtless when commenting on something that's important to you. You loved piano. I'm sure that you still love piano. Remember how you love it and start playing some of your favorite pieces. If you haven't played for a while you might be a little rusty, but it will come back quickly. It won't take long before you are in love with your music again. Go for it!


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Re: Wish I never bought my grand piano
MichelleM #1734968 08/17/11 08:59 AM
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Persistence is one of the virtues developed so dig in and practise diligently, develope your technique by serious application and when you have the technical and musical aspects of some repertoire ready-throw a party for these naysayers and surprise them!

Send your husband to bowl or something so he too will be surprised.

Ralph

Re: Wish I never bought my grand piano
MichelleM #1734971 08/17/11 09:04 AM
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play louder! those that don't like it..give them half a peace sign!

Re: Wish I never bought my grand piano
MichelleM #1735010 08/17/11 10:09 AM
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Sometimes jealousy can motivate comments like these. Or "Nazareth Syndrome:" if you're playing for us, you must not be any good; nothing good can come from so close to home.

Be glad you're not a pro; criticism can be truly scathing, sometimes for no better reason than to pull someone else down because we can't get up so high.

On the other hand, humility is a great friend to a musician. We have so many great examples to emulate, and learn from... and it takes a lot longer than two years to get there. There is no reason you need to expose yourself to this criticism. Try again in ten years. You would never humiliate a two-year-old, telling him to give up on walking and talking because he could not do something a twelve-year-old can do. No: you would protect the young person, and help it.

There is no reason you should give up your music studies, when they do mean something to you. What else better do you have to do? And don't say 'watching television with your husband.'

Ah yes, the husband. I think we need to have a little talk with him. There's some reason for such a comment. Sometimes spouses are jealous of the time spent not paying attention to them. Sometimes your playing might drown out the TV, annoying them. Maybe he thinks the money for the piano should have been spent on something really nice for him. Sometimes a crack about one thing can really be about something else. Find out. Address it. Convince him it's more trouble than it's worth. Buy him off, if that's what it takes. I'm sorry to say it, but this is the way marital power politics plays out.

Personally, I play in private.


Clef

Re: Wish I never bought my grand piano
MichelleM #1735029 08/17/11 10:58 AM
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Well, if your friend is a pro pianist, she should know that it's not relevant to compare a pro to 2-years adult beginner... You probably couldn't pull off what PROS call ''a little concert'', but I can't really see why you couldn't you play a few things for your friends...
As for your husband, I understand it made you sad, but I'm quite sure he was just joking. Actually, I've never seen a non-musician making critics about my playing - they all love it no matter what mistakes (besides wrong notes) you do laugh


The Beginning: chilly morning of 10th April 2010
Re: Wish I never bought my grand piano
MichelleM #1735037 08/17/11 11:07 AM
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In addition to the issues with your husband and your neighbor, I am horrified that none of those local teachers bothered to reply to your calls or e-mails. That's incredibly unprofessional. If they don't have openings, they could still let you know that.

(That being said, my current teacher is extremely conscientious in general but has often been terrible about returning calls. He's gotten better about it over time. It may be worth giving these folks another shot-- they may simply be a little flaky.)

If there are truly no good teachers available in your area, perhaps you could find a teacher who works online by streaming video?

Elene

Re: Wish I never bought my grand piano
MichelleM #1735062 08/17/11 11:40 AM
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Oh Michelle.....that brought tears to my eyes.

Why are we adult beginners so sensitive???..... Don't give up!! You've had lots of great feedback here. I hope you are still playing!!!

I have had just a few 'insults' and never really intentional but somehow I managed to twist the comments into negative memories.

One.... my mom. "That was lovely dear but can you play anything we know?
My co-worker "Of course that's Sandy, it's hardly professional...haha" ....about a Christmas C/D that I gave her.
My mom again... about a DVD slide show I did for her birthday and recorded all the background music myself. "No I don't need a copy of the DVD. I HAVE all those pictures"......

And there was that recital where I totally froze..... my audience of peers was so very supportive so that wasn't as negative an experience as the other comments.....

Thankfully my husband is very supportive though and gets upset with me when I exclaim that "I'm not very good"......

Please let us know how you are doing!..... keep making music for yourself and share it on the forum!!


It's the journey not the destination..
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Re: Wish I never bought my grand piano
MichelleM #1735064 08/17/11 11:41 AM
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Hire and handsome, young and expensive piano teacher to give you intense daily lessons. You will be amazed how quickly your husband will say "you are so good you don't need lessons anymore".

Re: Wish I never bought my grand piano
SAMoore #1735089 08/17/11 12:10 PM
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Originally Posted by SAnnM AB-2001
One.... my mom. "That was lovely dear but can you play anything we know?

Lol, I keep hearing that too... It doesn't really feel like and insult, it feels rather funny - it's quite a common thing that nobody appreciates a prelude that took you a month to master, but when you play some easy ''Hallelujah'' cover, and everyone around is gonna cry smile


The Beginning: chilly morning of 10th April 2010
Re: Wish I never bought my grand piano
MichelleM #1735099 08/17/11 12:17 PM
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When I was starting violin my neighbours issued a noise complaint. Tsk, neighbours. Don't let other people make you give up! I wish I had your grand though.

Re: Wish I never bought my grand piano
MichelleM #1735113 08/17/11 12:27 PM
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I agree with others here that there is a jealousy component, especially with people who don't play at all. Growing up playing piano and organ, I had two older sisters who didn't play anything, so when I played for my grandma (a musician) and other relatives, well the sibs weren't too happy (if looks could kill...). eek

BTW, I think performing for anyone is really tough. I usually just play for family and friends. My Dad really prefers classical and traditional music, which I don't play too much now, so he usually just zones out when I'm playing. LOL! That's okay.. I always make sure to play one of his favorites (Two Guitars - Russian folk song), and he loves that.

Last week, I sat in and played with a jazz jam session at a local pub and also played a little solo there as well. So much fun (and less stressful) playing along with a group! grin

I agree, please post something here in the forum.. 99% of the people here are nice and noncritical. heart

Last edited by Elssa; 08/17/11 12:56 PM.
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