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#2079608 - 05/09/13 02:04 AM How impatient . .  
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Are you when attacking new music? It`s a war of attrition with me. Everything is brought to bear in the fray. A blitz from the word "go!" from which there`s no let up.

I don`t sleep well at the best o` times. But when a recital`s coming up (yes, it`s months away) I try to put things to bed ASAP. Unfortunately that doesn`t seem to apply to me.

Haven`t slept much last night. Not tired now; the fight`ll go on again today.

But I can`t say I don`t enjoy it . . . Much progress was made yesterday.


"I am not a man. I am a free number"

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#2079610 - 05/09/13 02:14 AM Re: How impatient . . [Re: peterws]  
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I'm extremely patient at the start. Trouble is, my patience wears out too fast. wink


Every day we are afforded a new chance. The problem with life is not that you run out of chances. In the end, what you run out of are days.
#2079617 - 05/09/13 02:33 AM Re: How impatient . . [Re: peterws]  
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As a now ex endurance runner I tend to treat the whole piano thing like a sport. I also find myself dreaming of practicing piano, waking up in the early hours and just taking on from where I left the night before. It's nothing new I used to be like that with my work and then my sport and now my piano. I can only hope I start to mellow a bit or I'll end up winning some battles but losing the war.


Problems with piano are 90% psychological, the other 10% is in your head.

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#2079623 - 05/09/13 02:53 AM Re: How impatient . . [Re: peterws]  
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I'm very impatient. V.e.r.y.
But I'm catching on to the fact that working more slowly and methodically actually ends up being a faster way to get a piece under my fingertips.

I've also found that though I'd rather be playing piano than doing almost anything else...I've moderated my playing a bit, substituting a bit more quality time for plain quantity time. smile



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#2079648 - 05/09/13 04:22 AM Re: How impatient . . [Re: peterws]  
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Oh, I am very impatient. It always takes longer to learn a new piece than I think is should, and getting from the "learned" phased to the "performance" stage, takes even longer. The biggest lesson playing piano has taught me is to be patient and methodical. If I let my impatience rule, I create all kinds of errors that make the piece take even longer to perfect.

#2079654 - 05/09/13 05:02 AM Re: How impatient . . [Re: peterws]  
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I'm not the least bit impatient. I get suspicious when my progress is too fast. I wonder what I'm doing wrong. That doesn't mean I don't get obsessive. I'm perfectly capable of pouring extraordinary effort into the piece that's posessing me at the time but I still expect to be in it for the long haul. I learn better that way. I think there are some neurological connections that must be formed and harden before a piece is set into your hands and mind. That can't be rushed.


Slow down and do it right.
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#2079671 - 05/09/13 06:44 AM Re: How impatient . . [Re: SwissMS]  
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Originally Posted by SwissMS
Oh, I am very impatient. It always takes longer to learn a new piece than I think is should, and getting from the "learned" phased to the "performance" stage, takes even longer. The biggest lesson playing piano has taught me is to be patient and methodical. If I let my impatience rule, I create all kinds of errors that make the piece take even longer to perfect.


Me too. I have to remind myself to be patient and enjoy this stage too. Glad I'm not alone smile


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#2079722 - 05/09/13 08:32 AM Re: How impatient . . [Re: -Frycek]  
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"I think there are some neurological connections that must be formed and harden before a piece is set into your hands and mind. That can't be rushed. "

Good way o` putting it. Like hammering smokin cursing nails into concrete . . .

Last edited by peterws; 05/09/13 08:32 AM.

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#2079799 - 05/09/13 11:22 AM Re: How impatient . . [Re: peterws]  
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peterws, I have read your post, here:

Are you when attacking new music? It`s a war of attrition with me. Everything is brought to bear in the fray. A blitz from the word "go!" from which there`s no let up.

I don`t sleep well at the best o` times. But when a recital`s coming up (yes, it`s months away) I try to put things to bed ASAP. Unfortunately that doesn`t seem to apply to me.

Haven`t slept much last night. Not tired now; the fight`ll go on again today.

But I can`t say I don`t enjoy it . . . Much progress was made yesterday.

_________________________
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Like the enemy at war, it is an unknown until you are in the fight. Even when you read the piece measure by measure, it is not the same like playing the piece for the first time or at any time.

War is deadly; that is the excitement - of how long you will last or how long it will take you to win.

The other thing that is nice is that you don't need anybody to assist you in your war or anyone to be the opponent because it is all there for you when you sit down on the bench and rest your fingers on the keys.






Last edited by Michael_99; 05/09/13 11:24 AM.
#2079836 - 05/09/13 12:58 PM Re: How impatient . . [Re: peterws]  
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People often say I am patient when they see how I approach things, but really I am not. Think swan, lol.
I am calm and determined and methodical. I like plans, routines but I attack things intensively. I don't do things half heartedly, I go overboard with perfectionist details and I plan like crazy. I need goals and when I decide to do something , I want to start yesterday, with all the tools I decide I need right there and then. I am rarely in a hurry to finish something, but I am always early whenever I need to meet a deadline. I cannot abide lateness.
I can happily practice one measure over and over again, but I am not patient , just persistent. Stubborn.


It will be happened; it shall be going to be happening; it will be was an event that could will have been taken place in the future. Simple as that.
#2079868 - 05/09/13 02:42 PM Re: How impatient . . [Re: SwissMS]  
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Originally Posted by SwissMS
Oh, I am very impatient. It always takes longer to learn a new piece than I think is should, and getting from the "learned" phased to the "performance" stage, takes even longer. The biggest lesson playing piano has taught me is to be patient and methodical. If I let my impatience rule, I create all kinds of errors that make the piece take even longer to perfect.


Same here. I know how I want it at the start but getting it drilled in is such a drag... very very slow... many errors that are an insult to my ears... And indeed the drilling is only the first step. And so hard to make music at very very slow speed. How to make a crescendo while the notes are only fading away all the time???


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#2079880 - 05/09/13 03:00 PM Re: How impatient . . [Re: SwissMS]  
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I find it rather hilarious (and sad!) that I've taken lessons for three years and am FINALLY able to slow it down when learning a new piece. My poor teacher - she's been telling me this the entire time!I think part of the trouble is that I learned to sight read before taking lessons, and my fingers will automatically go to the right keys, but they are usually the wrong fingers and just throw everything off. That habit is finally breaking, but it sure did take a long time!
Originally Posted by SwissMS
It always takes longer to learn a new piece than I think is should, and getting from the "learned" phased to the "performance" stage, takes even longer.


This is something I'm still trying to conquer. I "know" it; therefore I think it'll be a snap to speed it up, or fix a problem part I've ignored, or a transition I've ignored.. ha! These recitals on PW are certainly helping me fix that.. I want to do better when more people hear it, so it's forcing me to re-evaluate how I go about things.

#2079886 - 05/09/13 03:14 PM Re: How impatient . . [Re: peterws]  
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I'm improving, but yeah, chalk me down as one who tries to go too fast too quickly. Like many intermediates, I'm sure, the trouble is often that there may be many measures where you can get the notes right pretty quickly after a few read throughs so you blaze the trail and then, OOPS!, smack comes a tricky measure.

The Clementi Sonata I'm learning is a good example of that. Alberti bass with nice easy 8th note melody, zoom, zoom - aargh, sudden leap. Too fast!


  • Debussy - Le Petit Nègre, L. 114
  • Haydn - Sonata in Gm, Hob. XVI/44

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#2080137 - 05/10/13 03:18 AM Re: How impatient . . [Re: peterws]  
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Richard's posts are full of insight on this, but I'll post just this favorite little snippet I keep saved.

Originally Posted by zrtf90
I gradually come up to recital speed - not by deliberately speeding up but by gradually relinquishing restraint.


If you're really impatient, then do things right and practice slowly and in very small sections, and you'll actually progress faster (sounds ironic, huh?). If I feel really impatient, I'll noodle around or play old material or something else unproductive; I won't go near new material lest I just ingrain poor mistakes that will take more time to undo later than it took to ingrain them in the first place.


"[The trick to life isn't] just about living forever. The trick is still living with yourself forever."
#2080184 - 05/10/13 06:58 AM Re: How impatient . . [Re: peterws]  
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Luckily, my teacher is more patient than I am.


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Currently working on:
Haydn, Sonata Hob. XVI: 19
Chopin, Waltz in E minor (op. posth.)
Schubert, Op. 90 no. 2
#2080307 - 05/10/13 12:15 PM Re: How impatient . . [Re: peterws]  
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Quote
This is something I'm still trying to conquer. I "know" it; therefore I think it'll be a snap to speed it up, or fix a problem part I've ignored, or a transition I've ignored.. ha! These recitals on PW are certainly helping me fix that.. I want to do better when more people hear it, so it's forcing me to re-evaluate how I go about things


Aimee, get out of my head. wink I have been taking since 2005 and FINALLY am realizing I was doing just that. 'I'll fix it in my lesson' ugh. I am also finally practicing in the correct way.
And also, realizing that getting it correct once through is not the same as being polished at it.


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I've been taking lessons since 2005
#2080417 - 05/10/13 04:16 PM Re: How impatient . . [Re: peterws]  
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Originally Posted by peterws
"I think there are some neurological connections that must be formed and harden before a piece is set into your hands and mind. That can't be rushed. "

Good way o` putting it. Like hammering smokin cursing nails into concrete . . .


thumb

Quite literally. Although I'm constantly trying to be patient, and even frequently advise others to be patient, the sad reality is that with almost every new piece there comes a time when my teacher must say to me..."ok, now I want you to go back and just play it very slow and very loud without dynamics and without pedal at least twice a day for a week."

This, of course, is to combat/fix the little errors I've allowed to creep in by speeding things up too soon. When I finally get through a piece start to finish without this remedial pounding stage I will know I have finally learned patience.


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#2080611 - 05/11/13 05:01 AM Re: How impatient . . [Re: JimF]  
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Originally Posted by JimF
the sad reality is that with almost every new piece there comes a time when my teacher must say to me..."ok, now I want you to go back and just play it very slow and very loud without dynamics and without pedal at least twice a day for a week."


Loud, without dynamics?? But that seems not the right way to me to practice, after all you then will have to unlearn the all-loud version


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#2080615 - 05/11/13 05:27 AM Re: How impatient . . [Re: wouter79]  
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Originally Posted by wouter79
Originally Posted by JimF
the sad reality is that with almost every new piece there comes a time when my teacher must say to me..."ok, now I want you to go back and just play it very slow and very loud without dynamics and without pedal at least twice a day for a week."


Loud, without dynamics?? But that seems not the right way to me to practice, after all you then will have to unlearn the all-loud version


It depends on a lot of things. Where is the student at, and how is the teacher working with him? What is the teacher seeing? What's the overall approach.

There seem to be two philosophies. One says that you creative every musical aspect from the very beginning so that it will "be there" (and otherwise it won't be). You seem to be thinking along those lines, wouter79. (?)

I'm being taught to shape the music in layers. Even if I weren't, I'd lean in that direction because of my experiences. To work in layers, you work on simple basic aspects first --- right notes with handy fingering and basic good movement. This is done in chunks (which is already a known concept). You add other elements like dynamics, nuanced timing etc. later. The reasoning for this is that we can only concentrate on one new thing at a time. Especially if you're still getting your skills, if you try to do everything, all of it will be vague and muddy. But if you have the right notes in your hands, then you can let go to concentrating on the dynamics, get them into your hand and ear, etc. I definitely need to do this, and it works for me.

"Loud" makes sense to me, because "soft" is harder to do and can involve restraining yourself (if you're me). I have a bit of a parallel, because I used to play using mostly my fingers. To unlock, I use large exaggerated motions - like little kids drawing with jumbo crayons and using their whole arm - and then when all the joints know how they can move, let it settle down. Smaller movements also make quieter sounds.

I'm guessing that JimF's teacher has a reason and plan, based on what he (she?) is seeing.

#2080620 - 05/11/13 05:49 AM Re: How impatient . . [Re: peterws]  
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Yes the teacher probably is right. Sometimes making mistakes is part of the path


Quote
There seem to be two philosophies. One says that you creative every musical aspect from the very beginning so that it will "be there" (and otherwise it won't be). You seem to be thinking along those lines, wouter79. (?)


no, I'm just saying that if you ignore elements such as dynamics or timing, you end up learning them incorrectly and that you have to unlearn it later to get it right. And that unlearning is harder than learning.


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#2080631 - 05/11/13 06:38 AM Re: How impatient . . [Re: wouter79]  
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Originally Posted by wouter79


no, I'm just saying that if you ignore elements such as dynamics or timing, you end up learning them incorrectly and that you have to unlearn it later to get it right. And that unlearning is harder than learning.

I am seeing it more in terms of a clean blank page that hasn't been filled in yet - the "continually loud without expression" is the blank page, rather than a learned dynamic. I work this way at this point of my journey. If you heard me practice at the beginning, it wouldn't sound much like music. But I have posted two pieces at their final stage, and they both have dynamics and expression, so this does work (for me).

That is, I don't have the same instructions because I'm a different student with a different teacher, so it's not "continually loud" - but a neutral sound, and probably more on the louder side than the very quiet sound.

#2080637 - 05/11/13 06:47 AM Re: How impatient . . [Re: keystring]  
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Originally Posted by keystring
Originally Posted by wouter79


no, I'm just saying that if you ignore elements such as dynamics or timing, you end up learning them incorrectly and that you have to unlearn it later to get it right. And that unlearning is harder than learning.

I am seeing it more in terms of a clean blank page that hasn't been filled in yet - the "continually loud without expression" is the blank page,


I am just a beginner so I accept the wisdom of my teacher who teaches me to take it very slow and not worry about dynamics and that distract me, it can be too daunting and I have to keep the learning experience as a series of hills rather than one big mountain. With the very limited experience I have if I learn a small piece and can get the notes and the rhythm right I have been able to focus on trying to put some emotion into it at that point. I guess there will be two schools of thought but no one solution that fits all


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#2080690 - 05/11/13 09:13 AM Re: How impatient . . [Re: wouter79]  
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Originally Posted by wouter79
Yes the teacher probably is right. Sometimes making mistakes is part of the path


Quote
There seem to be two philosophies. One says that you creative every musical aspect from the very beginning so that it will "be there" (and otherwise it won't be). You seem to be thinking along those lines, wouter79. (?)


no, I'm just saying that if you ignore elements such as dynamics or timing, you end up learning them incorrectly and that you have to unlearn it later to get it right. And that unlearning is harder than learning.


Not necessarily. I will often tell my students to practice it "wrong" on purpose. The same could be said for blocking chords, practicing in rhythms, playing staccato or legato (opposite of what is written), dynamic change, and even the "slow practice" concept. You do these things but they must have a purpose. I doubt the teacher always recommends this approach for every student in every situation, but I can see situations where this might be a good approach for a time.


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#2080697 - 05/11/13 09:30 AM Re: How impatient . . [Re: peterws]  
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Originally Posted by peterws
Are you when attacking new music? It`s a war of attrition with me. Everything is brought to bear in the fray. A blitz from the word "go!" from which there`s no let up.

I don`t sleep well at the best o` times. But when a recital`s coming up (yes, it`s months away) I try to put things to bed ASAP. Unfortunately that doesn`t seem to apply to me.

Haven`t slept much last night. Not tired now; the fight`ll go on again today.

But I can`t say I don`t enjoy it . . . Much progress was made yesterday.
I do have trouble with being impatient. Often I will go out with both guns blazing, but not have a good plan, or something comes up and the time I have available changes and I don't adjust my plan accordingly. So then the project drags out way beyond where it should have gone, and then I'm left with frustration and stopping before I feel the piece is finished. Yes, this even happens to teachers. wink

I am, however, being very methodical about my approach as of late, because I have a TON of music to learn. I've also chosen my piano pieces wisely, and I have 7 that I'm working on, but they are short. That way I'm keeping variety, but then I'm forced to be smart about my practicing. I spend 15 minutes a day per piece plus an extra 15 minutes on one of the 7 pieces. That's 2 hours, but it's spread out over the day. That also leaves me with an hour of singing practice during the week, or 1.5 hrs on the weekends.

I think being task-oriented is the most important part of practicing. Only committing to 15 minutes on a piece means I can generally only pick one thing: figure out how to play this one passage, how to do this transition, work on this tempo, better fingering, etc. That way you're always accomplishing something, and that is inspiring in itself.


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#2080700 - 05/11/13 09:32 AM Re: How impatient . . [Re: peterws]  
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I think some may have missed my point. Or I didn't express it correctly.

The remedial pounding instruction is just that...remedial...to fix an error, whether it's a note or fingering or something else, that I have managed to ingrain into the piece by being impatient....which is the topic of the thread.

It's not the only thing I would be doing with the piece, or the only way I would be practicing it.


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#2080750 - 05/11/13 11:00 AM Re: How impatient . . [Re: peterws]  
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My teacher sometimes tells me to play a piece incorrectly **for a short period of time*** so that I can learn what has to be learned.

Like what Morodiene said: He tells me to play block chords instead of the arpeggios - or he'll tell me to just play all the RIGHT notes, and not worry about the tempo at all.

It is all part of the building a block at a time. Some folks can go straight to the arpeggios or the right tempo ... I can't always get it right away.

It all comes back to going slower for a time before speeding up.


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#2080770 - 05/11/13 11:42 AM Re: How impatient . . [Re: peterws]  
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I've only responded to someone else's post, rather than giving my own take on "impatient". Almost a decade ago I had lessons on a different instrument. They were my first ever lessons, and the instrument was new to me. I advanced very fast - several grades in one year. I did my first exam early and passed with a high grade. Then there were problems. I learned after this that for me at least, getting at basic things and learning how to approach pieces in stages seemed to bring me much further in the long run. This also seems to be true for piano.

I had a piano when I was a teen and taught myself. I have to relearn how I do basic things because how I do them ties me in knots. It's really weird not to let yourself dash off something half baked, and instead "learn" to play one note after the other. But when you see how much better you end up playing, then you want to be patient, even if you're not, but you are, but you aren't.

#2080824 - 05/11/13 12:50 PM Re: How impatient . . [Re: keystring]  
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cefinow Offline
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cefinow  Offline
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Originally Posted by keystring
But when you see how much better you end up playing, then you want to be patient, even if you're not, but you are, but you aren't.


I agree with this sentence even though I don't understand the last part. grin

I can totally identify with the "impatience" motif running throughout this thread! It can be so counterproductive but seems to be an instinctively "right" approach when first enthusiastically approaching a piece. This week I have a lot of fabulous new music to learn and it is just SOOO hard to restrain myself-- don't go on to that passage yet! I was impressed with Morodienne's remark that the more music she had to learn, the more methodically she approached it. My tendency is to approach the whole lot like a puppy trying to catch a whole herd of geese at once... lots of excitement and running around, but puppy is left standing surrounded by lots of feathers on the ground, and no goose!

Well it doesn't help that my new interim teacher can work that way-- tackle the whole thing and handle the whole concept, music and execution, effortlessly. I need to admit to myself once and for all, I am not like him and can not, now or ever, impress him... vanity begone. My last teacher was much more helpful with surgical dissection of technical problems and disciplined slow practice (slow progress more than slow tempo). Gotta put on my careful spectacles again as I call them and start work-- not on the whole piece, but on certain measures and passages. It's some consolation that Beethoven, Chopin and Bach will wait very patiently till I manage to learn their music.

#2080902 - 05/11/13 03:32 PM Re: How impatient . . [Re: cefinow]  
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peterws Offline
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Northern England.
"It's some consolation that Beethoven, Chopin and Bach will wait very patiently till I manage to learn their music."

I guess one day I too will be patient. I hope I`m not a patient before that happens . . . eek


"I am not a man. I am a free number"

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#2080933 - 05/11/13 04:51 PM Re: How impatient . . [Re: peterws]  
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Bluoh Offline
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Bluoh  Offline
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Canada
Even the most patient person gets annoyed at one point during their playing.

There's a difference between playing mindlessly (you're daydreaming) and playing mindfully (e.g. to polish it). Most people switch back and forth and that's what makes it frustrating-- you've been "playing for a long time" and you "don't seem to get better".

Also, you need to give your mind and body a rest; hours of sitting at the bench doesn't help!

---

More than impatient, I used to get really discouraged at my piano lessons. (Doesn't help that I had a perfectionist, not-so-nice teacher.) But I wouldn't have the patience to practice those same things over and over again at home. It was just as well, because I caught on quickly and I never really had to practice for hours (when I first started piano).

It was only later on when I started performing that these inner battles came up; will my fingers ever be as quick and light as Liszt's? Will my memory slip during this part? And it became so stressful.

Luckily, I've grown past that and I'm helping other people get past that too. smile

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