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#2100634 - 06/10/13 08:23 PM The moment before a breakthrough  
Joined: Nov 2009
Posts: 233
bolt Offline
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bolt  Offline
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Joined: Nov 2009
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Finding my last two breakthroughs came after days of extreme frustration where I felt I wasn't getting any where.

Anyone else find this to be the case?

Think I should relish becoming frustrated from now on.


"There is more to this piano playing malarkey than meets the eye" - adultpianist
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#2100641 - 06/10/13 08:42 PM Re: The moment before a breakthrough [Re: bolt]  
Joined: Mar 2013
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earlofmar Offline
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Joined: Mar 2013
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Australia
Definitely found this to be true bolt. Occasionally I have sunk into despair when things aren't going well. I have came back the next day to find everything has fallen into place. What sweet joy that is, and has helped me cope better when I am having those dark thoughts.


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

13x[Linked Image]
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#2100763 - 06/11/13 02:00 AM Re: The moment before a breakthrough [Re: bolt]  
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
Making effective use of post practice improvement (PPI) is something that could save most all of us from this kind of frustration.

http://www.pianofundamentals.com/book/en/1.II.15

http://www.jeff-brent.com/Lessons/TheSubconsciousAndMaximizingPracticeTime.html


"[The trick to life isn't] just about living forever. The trick is still living with yourself forever."
#2100811 - 06/11/13 05:09 AM Re: The moment before a breakthrough [Re: bolt]  
Joined: Dec 2012
Posts: 178
floydthebarber71 Offline
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Joined: Dec 2012
Posts: 178
South Africa
I have found this with anything that requires repetitive practice. Take some time off, it somehow sinks in and you have better control when you return. The trick is to realise the correct moment to take a break, and not continue plodding along, imo.


Zaahir

Self-taught renegade - Kawai CL-36
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#2100832 - 06/11/13 07:35 AM Re: The moment before a breakthrough [Re: bolt]  
Joined: Aug 2005
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WiseBuff Offline
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WiseBuff  Offline
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Joined: Aug 2005
Posts: 1,152
Brighton Colorado
Absolutely true for me too. When I'm learning a new piece at first it feels comfortable and relatively easy to learn. Then as I dig into the details of getting the rhythm, notes and emphasis just right, my body just does it wrong. I reach a point where it feels not worth the effort and then a day off or two and the piece starts to flow. My brain has to take control or the emotional strength to keep going is not there. At a gathering the other day the adults were discussing how even play becomes work sometimes so you have to reframe your thinking that the repetition that feels like work is still part of play. LOL. I've listened to golfers, bowlers, softball players, even video gamers express the same point of frustration. Small wonder so many give up. Not us though


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Wise as in learner
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#2100835 - 06/11/13 07:46 AM Re: The moment before a breakthrough [Re: bolt]  
Joined: Apr 2010
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Andy Platt Offline
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Andy Platt  Offline
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Joined: Apr 2010
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Virginia, USA
I don't think I've really had any. It's just slow progress towards the goal. Trills for instance.

Piece #1: Can't do them at all, complete rubbish.
Piece #2: Ugh
Piece #3: Getting a little closer but need a lot of work
Piece #10: Ah, that sounds more like it!


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

Kawai K3
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#2100910 - 06/11/13 11:40 AM Re: The moment before a breakthrough [Re: bolt]  
Joined: Jul 2012
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peterws Offline
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peterws  Offline
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Northern England.
I used to get my head down and bash on towards the witching hour. And then I got no sleep . . .There is a place for dogged determination. It`s amongst younger people than me!


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

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#2101039 - 06/11/13 03:58 PM Re: The moment before a breakthrough [Re: bolt]  
Joined: May 2010
Posts: 806
AimeeO Offline

Silver Supporter until Jan 04 2013
AimeeO  Offline

Silver Supporter until Jan 04 2013


Joined: May 2010
Posts: 806
New Orleans
I used to get frustrated when I ran into those plateaus, but now I embrace them, 'cause something awesome is about to happen.

#2101824 - 06/13/13 03:49 AM Re: The moment before a breakthrough [Re: AimeeO]  
Joined: Aug 2012
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outo Offline
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outo  Offline
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Finland
It seems for me frustration and even anger work for my benefit. When things go smoothly I tend to stagnate, but when I hit a real problem I curse, pull my sleeves and work though it no matter what. The best results tend to come when I sit on my piano for a couple of hours after my lesson has ended in a disaster smile

This helps to solve the problem, but I agree that taking time off from actual practicing (and sleep) is what makes it stick in longer term.

#2101935 - 06/13/13 10:46 AM Re: The moment before a breakthrough [Re: bolt]  
Joined: Apr 2007
Posts: 16,228
Morodiene Offline
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Morodiene  Offline
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Joined: Apr 2007
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Boynton Beach, FL
I, too, have to get to that point of frustration and even anger before I get to the next level on a piece. Once I get mad at myself over it, then my determination really kicks in and I get it figured out somehow.


private piano/voice teacher FT

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#2119723 - 07/18/13 03:13 PM Re: The moment before a breakthrough [Re: Morodiene]  
Joined: Nov 2009
Posts: 233
bolt Offline
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bolt  Offline
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Joined: Nov 2009
Posts: 233
Sorry I didn't reply back, have been away from this forum for a while.

Some of you got exactly what I meant. Despair, anger frustration, feeling like giving up, quitting piano, anger at the teacher even for making you do whatever it is you're failing so badly at! And then two days later everything is great and you are playing better than ever.

And AimeeO, I think you are exactly right, it seems we should embrace this feeling, look forward to it even, because it means great things are about to happen.

Anyway, this all just happened to me all over again and I didn't even take my own advice until it was all over with.


"There is more to this piano playing malarkey than meets the eye" - adultpianist
#2120188 - 07/19/13 01:41 PM Re: The moment before a breakthrough [Re: bolt]  
Joined: Jun 2012
Posts: 211
255 Offline
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255  Offline
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Joined: Jun 2012
Posts: 211
Play slower.
Stay focused. When you're not, stop for a while then try again.

#2120203 - 07/19/13 02:05 PM Re: The moment before a breakthrough [Re: bolt]  
Joined: Sep 2008
Posts: 1,358
Kymber Offline
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Kymber  Offline
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Joined: Sep 2008
Posts: 1,358
MA
Yes, that has happened to me in music, art, and film making.
I think the frustration is as we are moving out of our comfort zone. The breakthrough is when we moved out of the comfort zone and have reached a new level. That's not to say all breakthroughs are preceded by frustration though.


“The doubters said, "Man cannot fly," The doers said, "Maybe, but we'll try,"
And finally soared in the morning glow while non-believers watched from below.”
― Bruce Lee
#2120238 - 07/19/13 03:47 PM Re: The moment before a breakthrough [Re: bolt]  
Joined: Dec 2010
Posts: 2,206
rnaple Offline

Silver Supporter until April 24 2014
rnaple  Offline

Silver Supporter until April 24 2014


Joined: Dec 2010
Posts: 2,206
Rocky Mountains
I always make progress when I've been broken. When all is lost. There is no hope. I'm beat. That is when the race begins.



BTW: Is it ok to make hamburger helper with a pound and a half of hamburger? It was on special. smile


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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#2120268 - 07/19/13 04:52 PM Re: The moment before a breakthrough [Re: bolt]  
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
Originally Posted by bolt
Sorry I didn't reply back, have been away from this forum for a while.

Some of you got exactly what I meant. Despair, anger frustration, feeling like giving up, quitting piano, anger at the teacher even for making you do whatever it is you're failing so badly at! And then two days later everything is great and you are playing better than ever.


Don't just let these experiences come and go. Use them to learn from. Think back at what you're getting frustrated over, how you work to break it down into a simpler problem (assuming you do), and what eventually succeeds in getting you up and over the hump. Every breakthrough happens for a very specific reason - they're most certainly not random (though they very much appear to often be). Learn to use this "feedback cycle" for your own benefit. As you grow more educated, experienced, and aware, you'll become more efficient in your learning and your progress, and eventually the possibility of encountering such frustration again will completely vanish.


"[The trick to life isn't] just about living forever. The trick is still living with yourself forever."
#2120360 - 07/19/13 08:55 PM Re: The moment before a breakthrough [Re: bolt]  
Joined: Nov 2009
Posts: 233
bolt Offline
Full Member
bolt  Offline
Full Member

Joined: Nov 2009
Posts: 233
Thanks for all the replies everyone. I found them all very interesting.


"There is more to this piano playing malarkey than meets the eye" - adultpianist
#2120396 - 07/20/13 12:18 AM Re: The moment before a breakthrough [Re: bolt]  
Joined: Dec 2008
Posts: 1,333
tangleweeds Offline

Silver Supporter until Jan 11 2012
tangleweeds  Offline

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Joined: Dec 2008
Posts: 1,333
Portland, OR
I wonder if the sense of frustration and being lost at sea that comes before a breakthrough may be a symptom of having outgrown a mental structure that has brought one thus far, but is insufficient to carry one along any farther.

So maybe the feeling of being lost and hopeless is really *is* an experience of being lost without a map, as your brain lets go of connections within itself, releasing one's dependence on the ideas and habits that have been holding one back from further growth.

And the breakthrough comes when this detachment from old mental habits permits the mind to integrate new and better skills or understandings.



Please step aside. You're standing in your own way.
#2120530 - 07/20/13 11:13 AM Re: The moment before a breakthrough [Re: bolt]  
Joined: Nov 2006
Posts: 4,504
Mark... Offline
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Mark...  Offline
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Joined: Nov 2006
Posts: 4,504
Jersey Shore
Ironically a breakthrough. is just the brain finishing up on a wiring project after hard work and some decent sleep...

#2120546 - 07/20/13 12:10 PM Re: The moment before a breakthrough [Re: bolt]  
Joined: Sep 2006
Posts: 6,415
jotur Offline
Gold Level
jotur  Offline
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Posts: 6,415
Santa Fe, NM
+1s to rnaple, tangleweeds and Mark... That's the way it works for me, too, and these were well-said.

Cathy


Cathy
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Practice what you suck at - anonymous

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