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Struggling for 10 years #2368944
01/03/15 01:55 PM
01/03/15 01:55 PM
Joined: Sep 2013
Posts: 8
D
D-Dove Offline OP
Junior Member
D-Dove  Offline OP
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Joined: Sep 2013
Posts: 8
Hello Everyone,
I have been struggling for 10+ years to learn to play the piano. Things always came up (also known as excuses smile ) but now I'm determined to get over the hump. Did anyone out there go through something similar and DID finally get over that hump?

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Re: Struggling for 10 years [Re: D-Dove] #2368961
01/03/15 02:19 PM
01/03/15 02:19 PM
Joined: Oct 2012
Posts: 2,002
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Whizbang Offline
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Whizbang  Offline
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Joined: Oct 2012
Posts: 2,002
Originally Posted by D-Dove
I have been struggling for 10+ years to learn to play the piano. Things always came up (also known as excuses smile ) but now I'm determined to get over the hump. Did anyone out there go through something similar and DID finally get over that hump?


Have you been playing constantly over those 10 years and feel you are stalling technically?

Or have you been interested in learning the piano, had a few goes, but ended up putting the piano aside for a time?

A potent remedy for both is to find the right teacher. Teachers can coach you through technical difficulties by pointing out things you'd never notice on your own. And having the responsibility to show some improvement in some way week after week (at the risk of wasting your money and time) can be a good motivator.

But... is there a hump? Hm.

No. It's more of a vast hilly landscape. You'll always be striving against one or more stubborn humps that seem impossible to surmount. At some point, they yield, only to reveal more humps ahead.

It doesn't get easier, but if you keep at it, you can look behind and see that you've in fact covered a great distance.


Whizbang [Linked Image]
amateur ragtime pianist
https://www.youtube.com/user/Aeschala
Re: Struggling for 10 years [Re: D-Dove] #2368968
01/03/15 02:29 PM
01/03/15 02:29 PM
Joined: Jan 2013
Posts: 99
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pianolearnerstride Offline
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Joined: Jan 2013
Posts: 99
Teacher might be a good idea.

The most important issue is playing without tension or pain... and relaxation (physical and mental). If you are tense physically or mentally... it will hinder improvement...

The way to improve is by making something that is difficult into something easy... not by enduring difficulty in playing. For a long time I thought that playing was some type of endurance...

Relaxation... play slowly... no tension... play with a metronome...

Are you reading music? what type of music are you working on?

Re: Struggling for 10 years [Re: D-Dove] #2368999
01/03/15 03:21 PM
01/03/15 03:21 PM
Joined: Sep 2013
Posts: 8
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D-Dove Offline OP
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D-Dove  Offline OP
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Joined: Sep 2013
Posts: 8
The 10 years has been on again off again. Family, 3 children, work, ect... 3 months ago, I did finally get a good teacher because I'm now determined (3 months now). I started on Faber Adventures 2B.

I'm determined not to give up this time.

Re: Struggling for 10 years [Re: D-Dove] #2369005
01/03/15 03:33 PM
01/03/15 03:33 PM
Joined: Dec 2010
Posts: 376
Toronto
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stumbler Online content
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stumbler  Online Content
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Toronto
D-Dove, while my circumstances are different from yours, I spent many years in "maintenance" mode. I didn't practice regularly, except the occasional spurt lasting a month or two. I rarely completed learning a new piece. Some of this I can blame on carpel tunnel, but the main cause was failing to practice regularly. I was probably also guitly of working on pieces a bit too far over my skill level.

The past few years I've been making progress again. Partly this is due to acquiring a new digital piano to replace my old (ancient) one that was subject to frequent breakdowns. Partly this is due to having a period with more free time. I also started taking lessons again, which added structure to my efforts.

As others have suggested, getting a teacher is probably the best thing you can do.

Try to practice every day. Even fifteen minutes of practice is better than none. If you ingrain the habit of playing every day, then the danger of your piano gathering dust for a month or two disappears.

When you practice avoid focusing on what you want to be able to play, but pay attention to the moment. If you lose your focus and can't get it back, take a short break. Concentrated practice is tough work, emotionally and mentally draining. Bored disinterested practice is not the most effective. If a short break rests you enough for another 10 minutes of focused practice, that 10 minutes will be more fruitful than an hour of bad bored disinterested practice. With time you will find that you can maintain focus for longer and longer periods.

Also take into account that learning piano takes time. Don't try to go too far beyound your skill level.

Again, having a good teacher will help with all of the above. Also, you need a teacher that is a good fit for you. The first teacher you find may be a great teacher for some, but may not be the best for you. I suspect teaching adults is different from teaching youngsters, not all teachers may have sufficient experience teaching adults.

Good luck getting over your hump.


Roland RD-700NX

[Linked Image]
Re: Struggling for 10 years [Re: D-Dove] #2369063
01/03/15 05:41 PM
01/03/15 05:41 PM
Joined: Dec 2009
Posts: 1,588
findingnemo2010 Offline
1000 Post Club Member
findingnemo2010  Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Joined: Dec 2009
Posts: 1,588
I think once you start taking it seriously, it takes you seriously. Maybe not too seriously, though..


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
Re: Struggling for 10 years [Re: D-Dove] #2369278
01/04/15 10:18 AM
01/04/15 10:18 AM
Joined: Jun 2011
Posts: 1,129
Houston, TX
Ataru074 Offline
1000 Post Club Member
Ataru074  Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Joined: Jun 2011
Posts: 1,129
Houston, TX
Originally Posted by D-Dove
The 10 years has been on again off again. Family, 3 children, work, ect... 3 months ago, I did finally get a good teacher because I'm now determined (3 months now). I started on Faber Adventures 2B.

I'm determined not to give up this time.


Put things in perspective... 10 years is enough time to reach an excellent level at the piano even if you are moderately talented and you can put 45 minutes to 1 hour every day.
Sour pill.
You put 10 years, on and off to maintain a beginner level repertoire, that means that you -might- have engraved in stone a whole set of bad habits, now your teacher should help you to overcome all these bad habits and help you progress... but it's like trying to move a mountain... it will take some time and some struggling.
Good news.
It's possible. stay on in even when it does look like you aren't making any progress... there will be weeks where you feel you are playing even worst than before and that is because you are replacing a faulty technique with a brand new one than needs time to develop.... don't be scared about it and keep going.
results will come.



Private Piano Teacher. MTNA
working on:
Albeniz: Iberia
Beethoven: Op 53
Bartok: Mikrokosmos vol. 5
Debussy: Estampes
Moszkowski: Op 72
Re: Struggling for 10 years [Re: D-Dove] #2369335
01/04/15 01:13 PM
01/04/15 01:13 PM
Joined: Feb 2014
Posts: 168
Canada
S
ShannonG Offline
Full Member
ShannonG  Offline
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Joined: Feb 2014
Posts: 168
Canada
I think sometimes you need a few years and miles under your belt to grasp how important it is to you. It sounds as though you've reached that point. I did much the same thing, and every time I went back launched into pieces that were too difficult on an instrument that wasn't really suitable and gave up pretty quickly. Now I have a beautiful piano that begs to be played, a house big enough for some privacy in the evening when the short person is sleeping, and the will to pull myself away from the TV for some playing time.
I think of my piano time as 'self-care'. It's something we all need to do and it gets forgotten when we have a lot of responsibilities. You'll be a better spouse, parent, all around person if you take some time for yourself.
Best of luck; enjoy your time!


Yamaha LU101, Casio CDP220R. 1968 Mason & Risch 'frankenpiano' only the cat plays. It's where our musical journey began though so I refuse to get rid of it.
Re: Struggling for 10 years [Re: Whizbang] #2369345
01/04/15 01:53 PM
01/04/15 01:53 PM
Joined: Dec 2010
Posts: 2,109
Midwest USA
Stubbie Offline
Gold Subscriber
Stubbie  Offline
Gold Subscriber

Joined: Dec 2010
Posts: 2,109
Midwest USA
Originally Posted by Whizbang
Originally Posted by D-Dove
I have been struggling for 10+ years to learn to play the piano. Things always came up (also known as excuses smile ) but now I'm determined to get over the hump. Did anyone out there go through something similar and DID finally get over that hump?


Have you been playing constantly over those 10 years and feel you are stalling technically?

Or have you been interested in learning the piano, had a few goes, but ended up putting the piano aside for a time?

A potent remedy for both is to find the right teacher. Teachers can coach you through technical difficulties by pointing out things you'd never notice on your own. And having the responsibility to show some improvement in some way week after week (at the risk of wasting your money and time) can be a good motivator.

But... is there a hump? Hm.

No. It's more of a vast hilly landscape. You'll always be striving against one or more stubborn humps that seem impossible to surmount. At some point, they yield, only to reveal more humps ahead.

It doesn't get easier, but if you keep at it, you can look behind and see that you've in fact covered a great distance.


Well said, Whizbang, well said.


D-Dove, if it suits you, take advantage of the MOYD (practice something every day), FOYD (what and how you practice), and Achievement of the Week (victories, concerns, encouragements you wish to share) threads here on the ABF. They help.


[Linked Image]
At first, she only flew when she thought no one was watching.
Re: Struggling for 10 years [Re: D-Dove] #2369483
01/04/15 07:07 PM
01/04/15 07:07 PM
Joined: Sep 2013
Posts: 8
D
D-Dove Offline OP
Junior Member
D-Dove  Offline OP
Junior Member
D

Joined: Sep 2013
Posts: 8
Thanks everyone for your encouraging words


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