Welcome to the Piano World Piano Forums
Over 2.5 million posts about pianos, digital pianos, and all types of keyboard instruments
Join the World's Largest Community of Piano Lovers (it's free)
It's Fun to Play the Piano ... Please Pass It On!

Piano Forums & Piano World
Find a Professional
Our Classified Ads
Find Piano Professionals-

*Piano Dealers - Piano Stores
*Piano Tuners
*Piano Teachers
*Piano Movers
*Piano Restorations
*Piano Manufacturers

Advertise on Piano World

What's Hot!!
Welcome PianoTV members!
Posting Pictures on the Forums
ADVERTISE on Piano World
Piano Life Saver - Dampp Chaser
Dampp Chaser Piano Life Saver
Piano Buyer Guide
Piano Buyer Fall 2017
Pierce Piano Atlas

Who's Online Now
96 registered members (Anita Potter, anotherscott, anamnesis, ADIRL, 27 invisible), 1,175 guests, and 2 spiders.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
Estonia Pianos
Estonia Pianos
Quick Links to Useful Piano & Music Resources
Quick Links:
*Advertise On Piano World
*Free Piano Newsletter
*Online Piano Recitals
*Piano Recitals Index
*Piano & Music Accessories
*Live Piano Venues
*Music School Listings
* Buying a Piano
*Buying A Acoustic Piano
*Buying a Digital Piano
*Pianos for Sale
*Sell Your Piano
*How Old is My Piano?
*Directory/Site Map
*Virtual Piano
*Music Word Search
*Piano Videos
*Virtual Piano Chords & Scales
Previous Thread
Next Thread
Print Thread
#2114162 - 07/07/13 10:28 AM I Need help  
Joined: Jun 2013
Posts: 7
Alex Persson Offline
Junior Member
Alex Persson  Offline
Junior Member

Joined: Jun 2013
Posts: 7
Hello, i'm 14 years old and have played piano for 8 months, i did the stupid choose to start with difficult pieces imidiently such as chopins Revolutionary Etude OP 10 no 12. I can play half of the piece but thing is i'm starting to Lose motivation so badly and i just hate to get throught the piece... Sometimes Ive been thinking about Leaving it till i'm better but i still kind of want to end My work i started and finish the piece but oh well.

However, i decided to take a break now and now i'm training a lot simplier pieces such as chopins prelude OP 28 no 4, and also Waltz in a minor. Its definetly better but i kind of have another problem... I lack a LOT of disipline and patience recently which really is a key and main thing to become a great pianist, and i'm basicly wondering, if you guys got any tips for me to train My patience and stuff up? Like.. Should i try to play 10 minutes a few Times' a day or? Cuse i'm feeling stressed over tjat i want to become good so quickly that it's just Making me so sad. I'm having a terrible attitude, i'm saying to myself i'll never become a concert pianist as in My dreams. frown

I personally and also have a teacher that are saying tjat i definetly got the potential to become a great pianist, just tjat i lack patience.

So how can i improve? I've just felt like this the last few weeks so Idk.

Thanks so much for your advice and attention!

Piano & Music Accessories
piano accessories music gifts tuning and moving equipment
#2114172 - 07/07/13 11:10 AM Re: I Need help [Re: Alex Persson]  
Joined: Nov 2007
Posts: 6,514
Nikolas Offline
6000 Post Club Member
Nikolas  Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Joined: Nov 2007
Posts: 6,514

If you were to read your own post you'd know what to do: 8 months is too small a time to actually tackle works like chopin's Revolutionary etude, etc... Moreover, I'm sorry to tell you, but if you've just started learning music, and haven't dealt for quite some time with (classical) music it would appear that you're a bit immature to tackle the 4th prelude as well, also because you're 14 years old.

In other words: You're 14 and have had 8 months of lessons. Quit fooling around with works that bite your time out and deal with works that are more suited to you. And check with your teacher. I doubt any teacher would allow you to play with works that are completely out of your league like that...

Sorry for being blunt, but there's no other way to put this.

#2114175 - 07/07/13 11:16 AM Re: I Need help [Re: Nikolas]  
Joined: Dec 2007
Posts: 15,371
keystring Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
keystring  Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Joined: Dec 2007
Posts: 15,371
Originally Posted by Nikolas

In other words: You're 14 and have had 8 months of lessons. Quit fooling around with works that bite your time out and deal with works that are more suited to you. And check with your teacher. I doubt any teacher would allow you to play with works that are completely out of your league like that...

Let's find out what his teacher is saying about that piece. Hopefully either he doesn't know about it, or is saying the same thing.

#2114176 - 07/07/13 11:16 AM Re: I Need help [Re: Alex Persson]  
Joined: Jul 2012
Posts: 321
rlinkt Offline
Full Member
rlinkt  Offline
Full Member

Joined: Jul 2012
Posts: 321
I am not a music teacher -- so take this with a grain of salt.

I have played guitar since I was about 6 or so. My daughter has been learning piano since she was five. My advice: don't rush too much. You are only hurting your motivation if you are trying to play pieces that you are not ready for. Build up your playing skills slowly with skill level-appropriate pieces. There is much to music besides playing the notes. Fluidity and expression matter a lot. Learn theory. Explore different styles of music at this stage. Understand chord structures and progressions used in different styles of music. The more you appreciate the music, the more you will feel like playing it. Play pieces that are an incremental challenge to your skills rather than a quantum jump. The closer the piece seems to be within reach, (I suspect) the more motivated you will be to master it -- compared to pieces that look far out of reach.

Regarding multiple short stints vs. longer stints -- I do not have any opinions. I think its a personal style / preference. At the end of the day, I believe that the cumulative time put into the art is what will matter most over the long haul.

#2114304 - 07/07/13 03:46 PM Re: I Need help [Re: Alex Persson]  
Joined: Apr 2009
Posts: 4,459
malkin Offline
4000 Post Club Member
malkin  Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Joined: Apr 2009
Posts: 4,459
*sigh* Salt Lake City
Work with a great teacher and do what your teacher tells you to do!

At 14 you know quite a bit. Especially compared to what you knew at 7!
( But less than you will know at 24)
You will do well to listen to your teacher!

Having power is not nearly as important as what you choose to do with it.
– Roald Dahl

#2114346 - 07/07/13 06:44 PM Re: I Need help [Re: Alex Persson]  
Joined: May 2012
Posts: 1,393
Bobpickle Offline

Gold Supporter until July 10  2014
Bobpickle  Offline

Gold Supporter until July 10  2014

Joined: May 2012
Posts: 1,393
Cameron Park, California
While you're not yet an adult, you should visit the Adult Beginner's forums as there are like-minded beginners (though again, older) that often discuss similar problems. I'll discuss my thoughts in further detail below, but what is more often the case than not being able to focus/concentrate is that people don't have or set realistic goals for practicing and this is an absolute must if you actually wish to see efficient progress (meaning not working on one piece for several months) in learning repertoire.

Also, you need to know why it's not only a waste of time to pursue pieces significantly above your ability which you simply cannot learn without being taught by rote by a teacher (which in the case of very advanced material could easily be near-impossible, anyways), but dangerous to yourself physically and mentally. You've already begun experiencing the mental aspect - not wanting to practice; not making any progress during practice; feeling unmotivated; thinking the answer lies in the inability to focus. Read below for a brief definition of piano technique and how practicing things beyond your ability can be physically harmful (it's an old post of mine in response to a user wanting their teacher to teach them a really hard piece similar to yours by copying).
Originally Posted by Bobpickle
The purpose of piano lessons are so that the teachers teach students not how to learn individual pieces, as it outwardly looks, but so that students are made capable of tackling the virtually infinite number of challenges any possible piece they could encounter may present. "Teaching" in the style that you describe/desire is not teaching at all, but simply learning by rote (and with a piece that is technically out of your range) and there simply just isn't enough benefit (versus a great deal of difficulty) to teaching by rote for teachers to it in respect to learning repertoire at the piano.

For clarity, my definition of technique in regards to learning repertoire is as follows:

1. You possess the technique to overcome the various challenges (except for perhaps a select few, which is likely why a teacher may have chosen the piece to learn in the first place) presented by a specific piece without the need for rote learning (except for perhaps explanation or demonstration of a technical demand). This is the level of relative difficulty at which teachers provide individual students with material to learn to get the most benefit.

2. Your brain (and thus fingers, being controlled by the brain) must acquire familiarity with, and the ability to ultimately play, the overwhelming technical demands throughout the piece. Either the sheer number of such demands is so great and/or each individual demand so unfamiliar or momentous that trying to even start learning the piece will quickly prove very difficult - and this is assuming you can first understand the notation of what's on the page. Especially without mastering a foundational routine for learning approachable new repertoire, a piece of music in this category could take as long as a year, if not longer, to come close to mastering as opposed to a few days, weeks, or months once nearer to the above category. Practicing something technically unfamiliar such as this can also be harmful in large spurts and/or if not careful.


I'm not suggesting you're trying as a beginner to learn an arrangement as difficult as this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rptV6K7nqu0

but that being said, if accomplishing something even remotely similar were all that easy, then far more people would learn - and more importantly not quit playing - this instrument.

There are far more to the "dots" than what there appears to be. I myself still only understand a small sliver of what there is to know, but hopefully I could at least share some of that with you.

Back to the topic of mistaking not having realistic goals to work off every time you practice for not being able to focus. As a beginner, you probably don't have a functional routine for practicing new material (I don't mean this as offensive; it takes some people several months or years to establish one and many people - even ones that have teachers - quit because they never get one) and unfortunately, your teacher obviously doesn't have one to offer you. Either select an easy piece yourself or better yet, have your teacher pick one out for you and try out the following routine:

1)Work out fingerings for your piece and then write them on the music so that you don't forget them and resultantly practice wrong ones.
2)Figure out how big of sections to divide your piece into for practicing. To do this, pick a section of the piece that makes musical sense whose size you think you can work with. Play it through one hand at a time 7 times each (the attempts most likely won't and don't have to be perfect, but the important thing is to keep count). If after seven times you have not learned it (meaning memorized or can play it without having to read hard, and/or made significant progress with playing it near or at performance tempo) it is because you are trying to learn a chunk too large for your present abilities.
Originally Posted by Bernhard
So instead of doing what everyone who does not know this piece of information does, namely keep repeating endlessly the passage hundreds of times, do the clever thing and make the passage smaller.

Try again seven times. If you still have not got it, make it smaller again. Certain passages will require that you par it down to only two notes. But I assure you that anyone can learn two notes after repeating them seven times.

In the beginning this method will seem unnecessarily long and laborious. However as you apply it consistently over the course of a couple of weeks (or even a couple of days), you will develop experience and you will be able to look at a passage and immediately tell what size and how long it will take you to master it.

After all this, you now know the size of your first section. Now how does this method work, you wonder? Anything that can be learned by repetition will be learned after seven repetitions. If after seven repetitions you have not learned the “chunk”, it means that the chunk was too large for the brain to handle.

Here's some further clarification on whether the chunk you've selected to work on after 7 repeats is okay or not:
Originally Posted by Bernhard
Now, it's not clear to me what he means by "master"
let's say I repeat three bars 7 times and after this seven repeats I can play those bars without errors and by heart; can be this considered mastered or do I need also it to be "full speed"
Using this approach I've noticed that I can learn by heart without errors 10 bars circa after just seven repeats
Yet even if I can "master" 10 bars after seven repeats, 10 bars is probably a chunk to large to practice?
Any thought?

1. Can you play the passage at the final speed (or near enough)?
2. Can you play it without hesitations and stuttering?
3. Are you playing the right notes at the right time with the correct fingers?
4. Does it feel easy and comfortable to play?
5. Can you play it by heart, or at least with the music in front of you without having to laboriously read it?

If you answered yes to 4 out of 5 of these questions it is mastered enough for you to consider this a good size and start working on it.

Do these questions apply to hands separate or hands together? Hands separate. Hands together is part of the work you will be doing once you decide the size. Unless of course you can do hands together straight away, then don’t bother with hands separate.

If you can master ten bars after seven repeats this is the size of chunk. It is neither too large nor too small. I have mastered 200 bar pieces (the whole piece) after seven repeats and went on to perfect the piece in the next ten minutes. It was an easy piece (for me). I have also struggled with half a bar for over a week before it “clicked”.

Continue to do this for the rest of the piece, as well, to compartmentalize it into similar sections. Mark all the sections (and overlap the end of each with the start of the next by one note) so you know which is which (numbers with bracket symbols work well). If you want to just test the validity of the method with a single section (though who would rather just learn a single section over a whole piece!), then you're welcome to just proceed on.

3)Now once you know the size of the section with which to work, you can start practice. See below (and you can ignore some of the first paragraph as - remember - you already know the size of your section(s) to practice).

Originally Posted by Bobpickle
Here are a few resources I like with advice on putting hands together in pieces. Do note, a prerequisite to trying this should be being able to play through the piece (in sections or as a whole) hands separate comfortably and effortlessly at about 1.5x performance tempo (this is because hands together is 37 times harder than hands separate and so you'll never be able to play as fast together as separate). Only then should you try and divide the piece into small - and overlapping - sections in which to practice hands together. How small? I can't tell you; they could be 4 measures long, 2 measures long, or maybe a quarter of a measure long. The trick to knowing that the length is okay is being able to master (or close to) individual sections within a 20 minute time span. If after 20 minutes, the section isn't mastered, you bit off too much so cut it in half and try again. Really tricky parts may have to be reduced down to as small as two notes, but the point here is anybody can master a section consisting of two notes within 20 minutes. If you do this with the hardest sections of a piece first, you'll find that you'll have acquired in learning the hard sections, most all of the technique required for the easier ones. Read more here: http://www.pianostreet.com/smf/index.php?topic=5177.msg49229#msg49229

Do this for a passage/section, set of passages/sections, or a whole piece and then leave it/them alone for a whole day for the brain to absorb. Rinse and repeat the same exact process (the "learning" process) for 2-7 days until you can go to the piano and, without effort, play the passage flawlessly on the first attempt; this is when it's mastered. As far as combining sections goes, every 2-3 sessions, use a session to practice combining small sections.

Below are the 3 levels of mastery in learning repertoire:
Originally Posted by Bernhard
Learned: you can play a passage/piece perfectly at the end of the practice session, but the next day it is all gone, or it is full of mistakes. (if it is full of mistakes, you may be practising too much, beyond the point of diminishing returns), You need to keep practising from scratch without skipping any step and without cutting any corners. But it will not take as long as the first time around.

Mastered: You now can just go to the piano the next day and play the section perfectly. Now you have two choices: just play through this section a couple of times 2 – 3 times a week. (You may not even need to do this, if you are joining this section to another one – since this joining practice will take care of it). Or you can neglect it and relearn it from scratch in a couple of months (this is really for complete pieces, rather than for sections).

Omniscience: You can play your piece even if you have not touched it for the past 30 years. You can get to omniscience by repeating your piece every day for ten years (say), or after forgetting and relearning it from scratch 3 or 4 times. I like the second approach the best because:

1. It is always exciting to learn a piece (even if it is one you already learned once).

2. It is doubly exciting to learn a piece in a fraction of the time (it will be a fraction of the time if you have learned it once).

3. It gives the piece a rest and gives you time to improve your technique and understanding of the piece. So when you come back to it, you will relearn it in a vast improved way. The alternative will most likely result in “burn-out” you will end up hating the piece.

4. It is far more efficient and time saving – even though it may not seem so at the time to one’s perception.

So basically you want to "master" a section, several sections, or maybe even a whole piece (if it qualifies as an appropriate-sized "section") and, in the process, absorb into your subconscious memory this "mastery." Because it is likely going to be forgotten or lost the next day (this is completely normal and to be expected), you'll need to do re-master the same thing again (but you'll find that each time you re-master, the amount of time it takes is less and less). Within 7 days of this consistent routine, your subconscious will have fully absorbed the information you've been feeding it daily and you'll be able to just go to the piano whenever and play whatever you've been mastering flawlessly on the first attempt. As for combining all the sections: again, after every 2-3 practice sessions of working on mastering one thing or another, use a session to practice combining various sections into groups of 2 at first, then maybe 3, etc. Also, in working to "master" each of these increasingly large sections, you'll no longer need to spend time re-mastering the old little sections that comprise them, individually. Follow the same rule of "only work on as large a section as can be mastered within 20 minutes" in combining sections, though.

Now concerning the above, why should passages/phrases/sections only be practiced for 20 minutes at a time? Any "chunk" of information that is capable of being mastered will be within a focused session of 20 minutes or less. If it takes longer, the chunk of information trying to be learned (in this case, a section of piano music) is too large. Shrink it down and try again.

5)After all this is said and done, what remains to be practiced is fine-tuning of dynamics and phrasing for performance.

The above method will work on all [new] pieces, but if you try it with Chopin's revolutionary etude, or something similarly virtuosic and difficult (at your current level), you'll effectively be trying to learn a whole piece about two or so notes at a time and this is hardly anybody's idea of a fun or productive use of time. There's a lot to appreciate about learning level-appropriate material - one such reason being you can learn it in a few days to a week or two as opposed to having to struggle unsuccessfully for several months, and in the process losing all motivation to even go near the instrument.

The original transcript (well, a compiled transcript) of the method's explanation by the original user/creator, Bernhard, can be found here: http://kantsmusictuition.blogspot.com/2007/09/secret-on-how-to-practice.html

"[The trick to life isn't] just about living forever. The trick is still living with yourself forever."
#2114362 - 07/07/13 07:49 PM Re: I Need help [Re: Bobpickle]  
Joined: Mar 2006
Posts: 7,639
John v.d.Brook Offline
7000 Post Club Member
John v.d.Brook  Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Joined: Mar 2006
Posts: 7,639
Olympia, Washington, USA
I thought we already addressed his problems here and provided Alex some very sound advice.

"Those who dare to teach must never cease to learn." -- Richard Henry Dann
Full-time Private Piano Teacher offering Piano Lessons in Olympia, WA. www.mypianoteacher.com
Certified by the American College of Musicians; member NGPT, MTNA, WSMTA, OMTA
#2114382 - 07/07/13 09:33 PM Re: I Need help [Re: John v.d.Brook]  
Joined: Apr 2009
Posts: 4,459
malkin Offline
4000 Post Club Member
malkin  Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Joined: Apr 2009
Posts: 4,459
*sigh* Salt Lake City
Originally Posted by John v.d.Brook
I thought we already addressed his problems here and provided Alex some very sound advice.

It appears Alex needs repetition on the forum as well as in practice on the piano.

Having power is not nearly as important as what you choose to do with it.
– Roald Dahl

Moderated by  Ken Knapp 

Piano Acc. & Gift Items in
Piano World's Online Store
Save Big In our online store now

In PianoSupplies.com ,(a division of Piano World)
our online store for piano and music gifts and accessories, Digital Piano Dolly, party goods, tuning equipment, piano moving equipment, benches, lamps Caster Cups and more.

Free Shipping* on Jansen Artist Piano Benches, Cocoweb Piano Lamps, Hidrau Hydraulic Piano Benches
(*free shipping within contiguous U.S. only)
Maine Coast Music Vacation for Adults
Pearl River & Ritmuller
Ritmuller Pianos
PianoTeq 6 Out now
New Topics - Multiple Forums
Enharmonic key modulation
by Daffodil. 01/16/18 07:49 PM
Garritan CFX + Avant Grand N1 for practice?
by kiwibd. 01/16/18 07:28 PM
Creating that unique piano sound
by KeyLogic18. 01/16/18 05:35 PM
by vanyailieva. 01/16/18 05:13 PM
Omoshiro Block
by twocats. 01/16/18 02:30 PM
Forum Statistics
Most Online15,252
Mar 21st, 2010
Sanderson Accu-Tuner
Check It Out!
There's a lot more to Piano World than just the forums.
Click Here to
Explore The Rest of Piano World!!
Visit our online store for gifts for music lovers

Help keep the forums up and running with a donation, any amount is appreciated!
Or by becoming a Subscribing member! Thank-you.
Donate   Subscribe
Our Piano Related Classified Ads
| Dealers | Tuners | Lessons | Movers | Restorations | Pianos For Sale | Sell Your Piano |

Advertise on Piano World
| Subscribe | Piano World | PianoSupplies.com | Advertise on Piano World |
| |Contact | Privacy | Legal | About Us | Site Map | Free Newsletter |

copyright 1997 - 2018 Piano World ® all rights reserved
No part of this site may be reproduced without prior written permission
Powered by UBB.threads™ PHP Forum Software 7.6.0