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#2145873 - 09/07/13 04:32 PM Fear and Loathing at lesson time...
malkin Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/18/09
Posts: 4160
Loc: *sigh* Salt Lake City
I'm just about to head to a lesson heavily under the influence of antihistamines. Not only am I about to fall asleep I am still having all my allergy symptoms. Last night I felt so awful I thought I would probably cancel, but I do feel quite a bit better today, so I'll give it my best shot.

How about you?
What obstacles have you encountered lately?
Having power is not nearly as important as what you choose to do with it.
– Roald Dahl

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#2145884 - 09/07/13 05:00 PM Re: Fear and Loathing at lesson time... [Re: malkin]
dynamobt Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/07/13
Posts: 966
Loc: NH
Another allergy sufferer here. Have you tried Allegra? Also comes in the generic fexofenadine HCL. It's over the counter. You do not need a prescription. It does not cause drowsiness. There are other antihistimines that do not cause drowsiness if Allegra isn't a good fit. Zytec, Claritin. Both non-drowsy.

You don't say where you are from. But, here in the USA it's been a pretty rough year allergy-wise. I also see an allergist so take antihistimine nasal spray and anti-inflammation nasal spray.

If you are miserable enough,it's worth going to see an Allergist. They really can help.
1918 Mason & Hamlin BB

#2145967 - 09/07/13 07:17 PM Re: Fear and Loathing at lesson time... [Re: malkin]
findingnemo2010 Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/17/09
Posts: 1588
Wow. That's funny because I felt the same way the other night right before lesson. I am thinking about going back into it on my own because of money issues.
music to me is kind of like putting together pieces of a puzzle
i call it the paino because its where i put all my pain

#2146009 - 09/07/13 08:59 PM Re: Fear and Loathing at lesson time... [Re: malkin]
rnaple Offline

Silver Supporter until April 24 2014

Registered: 12/23/10
Posts: 2199
Loc: Rocky Mountains
I have lesson at 3pm. I often wake up at 2am or somewhere early. This last week I was up at 11:30pm. I did take a little nap before work at 4 to 5am.
My teacher understands I'm not at my best.
I do usually go to sleep not long after my lesson.
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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#2146026 - 09/07/13 09:43 PM Re: Fear and Loathing at lesson time... [Re: malkin]
earlofmar Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/21/13
Posts: 3027
Loc: Australia
coming down with a flu this weekend so it's not looking too good for a Tuesday lesson. Still at the stage where I can sit and practice at the piano, so all is not too bad.
Problems with piano are 90% psychological, the other 10% is in your head.


#2146047 - 09/07/13 10:24 PM Re: Fear and Loathing at lesson time... [Re: malkin]
Whizbang Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/27/12
Posts: 1481
Originally Posted By: malkin

What obstacles have you encountered lately?


I just came off of learning a piece at the edge of my current abilities... I came through it through a combination of time and hard work, but boy did I fall into some doldrums after.

I didn't help that I got trapped in the "comparison game".
amateur ragtime pianist

#2146149 - 09/08/13 02:59 AM Re: Fear and Loathing at lesson time... [Re: malkin]
Michael_99 Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/28/12
Posts: 935
Loc: Canada Alberta
malkin, I have read your post, here:

I'm just about to head to a lesson heavily under the influence of antihistamines. Not only am I about to fall asleep I am still having all my allergy symptoms. Last night I felt so awful I thought I would probably cancel, but I do feel quite a bit better today, so I'll give it my best shot.

How about you?
What obstacles have you encountered lately?


as I understand your post, malkin, it appears that you like the rest of the world find that you
find obstacles that get in your path and affect you reaching your goal/goals.

as a beginner piano player, you are advised to take the suggestions of advanced piano players who are more experienced and are more knowledgeable.

For as long as I can remember, I have had an expression when somebody asked me if I wanted to do something like going to a party, going to lunch, going to an event - I would always say "Only an act of God, will prevent me from going."

So I am committed to going.

The other thing is that I would never ever ask who is going - because I didn't care - because I was going and that is all that mattered. Most people ask who is going.

Another example. I used to organize a ski weekend about 3 or 4 times during the winter.
People would phone and ask if there was a spot and they would also ask about the event such as the food, and accommodations - like how good the beds are. I would discourage people from attend in any way I could, because - for example, if someone is asking about the beds, they are going to complain about everything and so - they shouldn't be going. It is about skiing so who would ever care about food or the beds. The only thing that people should care about is if there is any snow.

Now, specifically to obstacles and goals. What is key it to be committed - if you are commited - and being committed is always being committed without exception - because excuses are not acceptable.

Specifically, I would never miss a lesson no matter what, if I had a cold, didn't practice - I would go and face the consequences - sometimes it was good and sometimes it was bad. You see, it is never a perfect world, and if you wait for a perfect time, it will never happen - so you must go.

I have learning problems, energy problems, cancer, a stroke - these are are not obstacles but challenges I must face. When I couldn't get a seat on the bus to the hospital, so I sat on the floor. The doctors didn't like it, but I had to do it and I just made sure I didn't touch the floor with my hands.

So the key again is that you always do something no matter how small - but you do something, 5 minutes, 10 minutes. A trick and a secret is that nobody - and I mean nobody cares about you when they are sleeping, so most of my life, when things weren't working I could always do something at 2 or 3 a.m. and - until morning with stealing some sleep an hour before getting ready to go to work - I would sleep during my lunch hour at work sleeping on the floor in my office in my suit - the precaution is that I would tell people because if they came into my office and found me on the floor they would likely think I have had a heart attack and so I would tell them not to worry - I am sleeping - and would set an alarm beside my head to wake me. When I had cancer, I told everybody and the doctors, that I realized I may die and I may live, but both are acceptable because I have had a good life.

There is no excuse about the weather because if you don't like it, you can move to a different place that has weather that you like. You see, so no excuse about the weather - and you thought there was.

And lastly I could never understand why anyone would care about music they were playing or had to play because the only thing they should be caring about is how to play the piano properly - and between 2 a.m. until they get ready for work - they can play whatever music they like when everybody else is sleeping!



#2146232 - 09/08/13 09:20 AM Re: Fear and Loathing at lesson time... [Re: malkin]
TomInCinci Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/12/13
Posts: 47
I'm having a similar experience myself. After a years long run of no colds/flu I have a cough that's progressed to the point of needing narcotic cough medication.

Oddly, this is the best my playing has ever sounded. At the same time, nobody has seen the cats for 2 days! <g>

#2146267 - 09/08/13 11:04 AM Re: Fear and Loathing at lesson time... [Re: malkin]
mrm2 Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 08/07/13
Posts: 8
Loc: MA
For me, the frustration is that I never play worse than when I play for my teacher. She says she has heard other students say the same thing, and has cracked that she's tempted to walk the streets in disguise to eavesdrop on all of the beautiful practicing that must be going on.

I think I'm probably listening more intently when I play for her, and that makes me tense up.

There's a good blog called The Bulletproof Musician that addresses performance anxiety.

Edited by mrm2 (09/08/13 11:05 AM)
Mike M

Currently working on:
Liszt: Consolation no. 3
Scales and arpeggios ad infinitum

Mason & Hamlin A
Knabe Mignonette Console

"The drop of water hollows the stone not by force, but by persistent dripping."

#2146566 - 09/08/13 06:53 PM Re: Fear and Loathing at lesson time... [Re: malkin]
Stevio55 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/18/12
Posts: 36
Wholly apart from colds, allergies, sinus drainage, etc., I get psyched out based upon several factors that I'd imagine are common amongst a few of us here.

First, I hadn't studied for 40 years (honest!) and, while I could plain the heck out of most things, I had been more of a sight reader than a practice-to-perfect player. Both of my parents were church musicians and public school music teachers in a town of 15,000, and so they inculcated me with the idea that you didn't do a half-assed job if you were going to play for ANYONE, whether a large audience or one other person. No pressure -- just make 'em proud.

Fast forward to 2013, and I feel a certain amount of shame/guilt about not being as well-prepared or as perfect as I could be. In reality, as an adult student and a practicing attorney, practice time is at a great premium. So I freak myself out be feeling unprepared for a lesson.

My solution at my second lesson with an INCREDIBLE teacher was to start with "Let's talk about how I'm feeling right now." God bless my teacher, who listened, and then put me at ease. SHe heard what I'd said, she related it to other students and even to herself, and said, "I see so much potential in you, and I don't judge how you play, I just am here to show you how you can play better so you can achieve the potential." Far from being intimidated or even ashames, I felt completely inspired. Now, a week out from that lesson, I've made it a priority to find the time to practice and focus very intently on technical suggestions my teacher made. Her message was clear: you c an't be where you were several decades ago because you haven't kept up your skills. Let's get your skills back up, and you'll be even further along than you were.

Fear and loathing are natural, especially for those who have other issues that get in the way. Enlis your teacer to help get you past that...it could be among the most valuable discussions you ever have in a lesson!



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