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#2114713 - 07/08/13 02:45 PM Night dreaming about your piece  
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JosephAC Offline
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This early morning, I woke up out of my nightmare dream. As I started reading on this forum reluctantly whether i should try sleeping again, it crossed my mind ' why did I have a nightmare. ? Why not a musical dream ? A dream about a difficult piece. A dream about my work-in-progress piece... Actually, any musical dream will do'.

I am interested to know whether you have occasional musical dreams ? How does it feel like ? Can you engineer the topic of your dream ? M


Just curious.

Joseph

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#2114729 - 07/08/13 03:24 PM Re: Night dreaming about your piece [Re: JosephAC]  
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tangleweeds Offline

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I've had math and programming dreams, but so far not a musical one (that i remember)... wait, actually, I have had shopping dreams about finding or failing to find sheet music. But none about actually playing the instrument.

Going from my standard dreams, a musical dream would probably be about a recital for which I had forgotten to practice... (or forgotten to get dressed in the morning shocked )


Please step aside. You're standing in your own way.
#2114731 - 07/08/13 03:25 PM Re: Night dreaming about your piece [Re: JosephAC]  
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How about a musical nightmare? You`re playing for people. And things won`t go right. You`re ploughing through mud . . . .getting nowhere . . . confused


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

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#2114747 - 07/08/13 04:03 PM Re: Night dreaming about your piece [Re: JosephAC]  
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It might be the tetris effect as well.

People who focus too heavily on something start thinking and dreaming of the thing they do too much of.

Gamers often wonder where the gun pointing out the bottom of their view is

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#2114761 - 07/08/13 04:22 PM Re: Night dreaming about your piece [Re: JosephAC]  
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Bobpickle Offline

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I never really remember dreams (as most don't). It is my understanding, though, that:
Quote
When you become asleep your conscious mind sleeps as well but your subconscious mind remains awake. At this point the true connection between dreams and the subconscious mind starts to appear.

For example, If you were concerned about a problem then most probably your subconscious mind will show it to you in your dreams in order to remind you of it or to help you solve it.


So what does this mean for pianists?
Originally Posted by Bernhard
In piano playing you must repeat something several hundred times. But you must also alternate repetition with time for the unconscious to work it out. This means ultimately a night’s sleep. It is when you start dreaming with your piece that you know you are starting to learn it. Dreaming is a consequence of this integrative work of the unconscious.


Learning happens on two levels: the conscious and the subconscious. Conscious memory is temporary, however it is necessary as it's a gateway to subconscious memory. Now what does this mean for pianists? It tells us how much and how often we need to practice in order to obtain this subconscious memory (i.e. your fingers know where to go without you having to think). Our bodies are trying to tell us all kinds of things like this. We just aren't born knowing how to listen.
Originally Posted by Bernhard
Learned (conscious): 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 (subconscious): 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.


"[The trick to life isn't] just about living forever. The trick is still living with yourself forever."
#2114789 - 07/08/13 05:14 PM Re: Night dreaming about your piece [Re: JosephAC]  
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Whizbang Online content
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Originally Posted by JosephAC
I am interested to know whether you have occasional musical dreams ? How does it feel like ? Can you engineer the topic of your dream ?


Occasional? Often.

8 or 16 bars of the melody, on repeat, for an hour or more.

Last edited by Whizbang; 07/08/13 05:14 PM.

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#2114931 - 07/08/13 11:40 PM Re: Night dreaming about your piece [Re: JosephAC]  
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JosephAC Offline
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Thanks all for your responses and sepcially Bobpickle for a very insightful response. I never before understood the working of the subconscious and omniscience memory for music learning.

Do subconscious and omniscience processes and memories degrade through aging ?

#2114971 - 07/09/13 01:43 AM Re: Night dreaming about your piece [Re: JosephAC]  
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Originally Posted by JosephAC
Thanks all for your responses and sepcially Bobpickle for a very insightful response. I never before understood the working of the subconscious and omniscience memory for music learning.

Do subconscious and omniscience processes and memories degrade through aging ?


You're welcome.

I don't know; it could all depend on the severity of the degradation. Since the person from whom this information originated compared "omniscience" with bicycle riding, let me pose this question: can someone with severe Alzheimer's disease remember how to ride a bike (rhetorical question... sort of)?


"[The trick to life isn't] just about living forever. The trick is still living with yourself forever."
#2114975 - 07/09/13 01:56 AM Re: Night dreaming about your piece [Re: JosephAC]  
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Whenever I dream about music, it is always me playing something that in real life I can play just fine. But in the dream I can never make it happen. Then I wake up pissed off.


Nick
#2115280 - 07/09/13 06:25 PM Re: Night dreaming about your piece [Re: JosephAC]  
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I have musical dreams all the time. Usually in my dream I'm improvising freely and beautifully, something I can't do in real life. Often I dream (accurately) about the score of whatever piece I'm hammering away at at the time. And sometimes I have a musical nightmare, which doesn't necessarily have anything to do with music, I think my metaphor for frustration of all sorts is dreaming about trying to play a piano whose keys are changing places with each other as I play.
Quote
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:


Now this is an interesting concept. A couple of years ago I sat down and attempted to play a Chopin waltz (one of the easier ones) that I hadn't touched since I was a teenager. This is a piece I knew very very well back then, if not so accurately. I played it a lot. Then came the great piano hiatus. Fast forward thirty some years and, I still could play it, mistakes and all. Once I got started I played it exactly as I'd played it when I was about seventeen even though I hadn't touched it in almost forty years. Now I can learn a piece and if I don't brush it up every couple of weeks I lose it.

I think the age at which you learn a thing may have something to do with it. I've never lost the little bit of Yiddish I was taught by our Latvian landlady (who made a pet of me) when I was a toddler. I remember my high school and college French pretty well, but barely remember the Russian I studied quite intensively for a time in my middle age.


Slow down and do it right.
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#2115290 - 07/09/13 06:45 PM Re: Night dreaming about your piece [Re: JosephAC]  
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JosephAC Offline
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-Frycek

It is awesome what you shared. It seems that music has permeated your subconscious. Good on you.

#2115295 - 07/09/13 07:03 PM Re: Night dreaming about your piece [Re: JosephAC]  
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When I have been working very hard on a piece, in my dream I will somehow enter the music or the piano, to become part of it in a dreamlike way.

Frycek, I have similar experiences with memory. I learned the Gettysburg Address when I was 10 and can just let it sail right out. I am pleased to remember large passages of Shakespeare that I learned in my 20s, but I can't even keep a single quote in mind these days. Nevermind where I have set my keys or my glasses...


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

#2115315 - 07/09/13 07:46 PM Re: Night dreaming about your piece [Re: malkin]  
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tangleweeds Offline

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Originally Posted by malkin
When I have been working very hard on a piece, in my dream I will somehow enter the music or the piano, to become part of it in a dreamlike way.

This sounds very much like my programming dreams. In them I am inhabiting the flow of control as it loops around through the code.

Originally Posted by malkin
Originally Posted by Frycek
This is a piece I knew very very well back then, if not so accurately. I played it a lot. Then came the great piano hiatus. Fast forward thirty some years and, I still could play it, mistakes and all. Once I got started I played it exactly as I'd played it when I was about seventeen even though I hadn't touched it in forty or so years. Now I can learn a piece and if I don't brush it up every couple of weeks I lose it.

Frycek, I have similar experiences with memory. I learned the Gettysburg Address when I was 10 and can just let it sail right out. I am pleased to remember large passages of Shakespeare that I learned in my 20s, but I can't even keep a single quote in mind these days. Nevermind where I have set my keys or my glasses...

I also experience something very similar, and with regard to piano. Since restarting piano, whenever I wander off from playing for an extended period, I always regress to just about where my childhood lessons left off.

I've actually been experiencing this just now, as I've spent the last year and a half struggling with extremely frequently recurring migraines (apparently not an uncommon issue in late perimenopause). I've gotten it bits of practice here and there between the migraines, but while my piano interest has been as strong, if not stronger than ever, the amount of time I can tolerate piano sounds has been severely curtailed. It's been remarkably frustrating watching my skills deteriorate!


Please step aside. You're standing in your own way.
#2115936 - 07/11/13 02:38 AM Re: Night dreaming about your piece [Re: JosephAC]  
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Yes

I play much better in my dreams. Effordless, smooth flowing. But I think I'm getting close in real life now :p

And I also visit concert sites quite often. Usually it's a small setting like a quartet in a huge hall.


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#2115991 - 07/11/13 06:59 AM Re: Night dreaming about your piece [Re: JosephAC]  
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My first lessons were on violin. In the dreams that I had as a beginner, something was always broken. The bow hair would unravel, or the bow became a bending snake. My teacher would be disappearing around the corner just as I arrived. When I joined my first choir, one of the members stressed that my music should be properly contained in the black binder. So I dreamed of our performance, where my children had made cutout dolls of my music, and the pieces fell all over the floor, with me piecing together the bits off the floor to everyone's disapproving look.

Strangely enough, before I took lessons in anything, I had a dream of a choir having a problem, and their conductor stopped them and had them chant the rhythm of their music as "ta ta daddle da" or similar, and it turns out that this is actually done. In another, there was a singer with a lecture going on, with a see-through demonstration of her breathing mechanism as she sang. I wish I could remember it. I don't dream about music, but when I wake up I see the passages that I seem to have been "working on" in my sleep.

#2116180 - 07/11/13 03:33 PM Re: Night dreaming about your piece [Re: JosephAC]  
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Ya'll just need to cut down on the energy drinks and sugar.
Dreams mean nothing. They're gibberish.
But don't cut down on Ben and Jerry's finest before bedtime.


Ron
Your brain is a sponge. Keep it wet. Mary Gae George
The focus of your personal practice is discipline. Not numbers. Scott Sonnon
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#2116330 - 07/11/13 09:00 PM Re: Night dreaming about your piece [Re: JosephAC]  
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Originally Posted by JosephAC
Can you engineer the topic of your dream ?

Many years ago I was working a very, very, very boring job in quality control of small electronics. The job was so hypnotic that one pregnant lady got literally hypnotized on her microscope, examining and re-examining the same set of parts for hours after she was supposed to go home.

I never got that hypnotized, but I did find that while testing my gazillions of little parts, I would get memory flashes of all my dreams from the night before, and sometimes even dreams from weeks, months, or years before. I started keeping scratch paper beside my work station, so I could jot down enough of these dream fragments to write all my dreams out when I got home. I explored different schools of dream interpretation, including some stuff on lucid dreaming, which is where you know that you are dreaming and can, to some degree, direct what happens in the dream.

So during this period, I got really good at lucid dreaming, and to this day, I often know that I'm dreaming when i dream... though attempts to direct the dreams don't always go as planned.

A while back, my dreaming self figured out that my non-dreaming self didn't know how to fly, and decided that this was a great detriment to my waking life. So then, whenever my dream became lucid, my dreaming self would practice flying around, particularly the lift-off, so I would be able to remember just how to do it when awake.

Unfortunately, the skill failed to transfer. wink There was a step in which you flip your center of gravity upside-down that I could never quite master in waking life! laugh

But meanwhile, I started having an issue in my dream life, in which I'd be flying around but lose my ability to come back to the ground. I would dream about parties where I'd be stuck to the ceiling like a lost balloon, which did inconvenient things to my ability to carry on conversations with all the people who were down on the floor where they belonged.

So my dream self decided that the flying thing had perhaps been overdone, and the quest to teach my waking self to fly ended.

Now the lucid dreaming translates into a weird dream deja-vu, in which there is one of me who is the author of the dream, and another me who is trying to direct a second, cinematic view of the dream. However, as is often the case, the cinematic version of the dream diverges from the authors vision, and often not for the best.

Dontcha wish you'd never asked?

Last edited by tangleweeds; 07/11/13 09:01 PM.

Please step aside. You're standing in your own way.
#2116352 - 07/11/13 09:55 PM Re: Night dreaming about your piece [Re: tangleweeds]  
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Originally Posted by tangleweeds

... I started having an issue in my dream life, in which I'd be flying around but lose my ability to come back to the ground. I would dream about parties where I'd be stuck to the ceiling like a lost balloon...


I've had this too. For me it is like the "I love to laugh" scene in Mary Poppins.


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

#2116359 - 07/11/13 10:20 PM Re: Night dreaming about your piece [Re: tangleweeds]  
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Tangleweeds, that job must have been so very very boring, what a joy music must be to you! wish I could make my fingers fly for a chopin etude or two, now that's dreaming......


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#2116408 - 07/12/13 12:23 AM Re: Night dreaming about your piece [Re: JosephAC]  
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Tangleweeds,your experience with lucid dreaming is an interesting...I am not clear whether the awareness of the non-dreaming self to direct the dreams occured at conscious level and in which case it becomes 'a mental play' that continued in your imagination at conscious level. I assume awareness is a conscious phenomenon.


#2116469 - 07/12/13 05:20 AM Re: Night dreaming about your piece [Re: JosephAC]  
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I’ve dreamed about playing music some times but it doesn’t occur to often.

In relation of lucid dreams, they happens when I'm dreaming and for some reason I realize that I’m dreaming and then I’m able to control the dream, I can fly, transpose walls and I’ve never remember to try but theoretically I would be able to find a piano and to play.

There are some techniques that help to get lucid dreams more often.


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#2116523 - 07/12/13 08:39 AM Re: Night dreaming about your piece [Re: JosephAC]  
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