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Started practicing piano... again :)
#2636587 04/26/17 01:39 PM
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Hello all,

I've had digital piano for four years and I have not played in two years since last time I got frustrated about not picking up the skill.

I just started playing piano again and decided to focus on Fur Elise this time. I am practicing 30 minutes a day and I see steady progress which I didn't see last time. My secret? Not giving up and slowing down a lot. I realized that one cannot just pick up the piece and start practicing it full speed. I tried and re-tried with very slow tempo and didn't practice for more than 30 minutes a day. Each day I noticed how much my brain has been working on the finger dexterity while I was sleeping. On each day I noticed how much better my fingers co-operate with me.

I also like the Skipping Rope piece which is found on ABRSM level 1 syllabus, thinking about starting that as well to get some variation.


- Artur Gajewski

Working on:
Beethoven - Fur Elise
Chopin - Waltz in A minor
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Re: Started practicing piano... again :)
Artur Gajewski #2636635 04/26/17 03:43 PM
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glad to hear you are making a return to piano. One of my bigger "ah ha" moments was letting go of of the desire to learn ever increasingly difficult pieces. I just try to do what I can and those little improvements made each day are enough to keep me going.


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Re: Started practicing piano... again :)
Artur Gajewski #2636643 04/26/17 04:08 PM
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Welcome back!
I have the same experience: it clearly seems that the brain needs to get triggered by the stimulus, and then it is adopting to optimize its reaction for the requested task. This takes some time. The overnight effect. Can in my observation even happen over a week-of-rest-at-the-piano period. And at the piano, the muscles as well as the feedback loop of listening-evaluation-playing become trained. Both together is the advancement.

Well thought and concentrated practicing by STRICTLY CORRECT ONLY playing, usually best obtained by slow playing, usually for some period only focusing on little parts of the music, is obviously a more successful path than sloppy long time practicing and/or only repeating the full piece over and over again.

Re: Started practicing piano... again :)
Artur Gajewski #2636646 04/26/17 04:11 PM
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Hope you don't mind me saying so but when you focus on one piece that, so it seems to me, is above your skill level, you aren't learning to play the piano: you are only learning to play that specific piece. To pick up skill and actually learn to play piano, start with lower grade pieces which you can actually handle. But hey, if you like what you are doing, keep doing it. wink

BTW I was surprised to see you created and sell a piano lessons package while you apparently can't play the piano well...? Confusing. wink

I fully agree about the taking it slow part btw. You might also try doing it bar by bar and line by line too. That way you will learn the piece a lot quicker compared to when you play the entire piece over and over again. (So I found out only yesterday LOL)

EDIT
Wuffski typed quicker and beat me to it about slow and small parts. wink

Last edited by J van E; 04/26/17 04:13 PM.
Re: Started practicing piano... again :)
Artur Gajewski #2636671 04/26/17 05:41 PM
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Welcome Artur. Wishing you much enjoyment!

Re: Started practicing piano... again :)
J van E #2636753 04/26/17 11:10 PM
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Originally Posted by J van E
BTW I was surprised to see you created and sell a piano lessons package while you apparently can't play the piano well...? Confusing. wink


I do know how to play piano, it's just that classical pieces are challenging to me and I haven't touched piano in years. The package includes a set to teach a child the very basics as well as getting an adult started with the piano. Nothing fancy or advanced here, just the basics I am well capable of playing like scales, finger dexterity exercises, LH/LR coordination and very easy songs to practice smile


- Artur Gajewski

Working on:
Beethoven - Fur Elise
Chopin - Waltz in A minor
Re: Started practicing piano... again :)
Artur Gajewski #2636757 04/26/17 11:20 PM
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Originally Posted by J van E
Hope you don't mind me saying so but when you focus on one piece that, so it seems to me, is above your skill level, you aren't learning to play the piano: you are only learning to play that specific piece. To pick up skill and actually learn to play piano, start with lower grade pieces which you can actually handle. But hey, if you like what you are doing, keep doing it. wink


Ofcourse I don't mind and you are correct, perhaps this is harder for my skill level but there is something about Fur Elise that just makes me want to practice it. I actually am getting better at it and when I get the first eight bars correct, the enjoyment I get out of it just makes me want to practice it more. Way different feeling than few few years back.

Originally Posted by J van E
I fully agree about the taking it slow part btw. You might also try doing it bar by bar and line by line too. That way you will learn the piece a lot quicker compared to when you play the entire piece over and over again. (So I found out only yesterday LOL)


Yes, exactly. Little part after another until that one part is played well and on beat. That is exactly how I do it smile


- Artur Gajewski

Working on:
Beethoven - Fur Elise
Chopin - Waltz in A minor
Re: Started practicing piano... again :)
Artur Gajewski #2636758 04/26/17 11:32 PM
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Hi Artur
Many of us here would recommend that you learn piano in a progressive way-- building one skill at a time and advancing repertoire as those skills develop. Rather than picking out individual pieces, which may not provide learning the skills you need, you should consider starting with an adult method book that builds skills sequentially.

This lessens frustration and leads to longevity of learning to play. Last time you tried to learn, you became frustrated and quit. Why not try a different approach? Choose the pieces you NEED rather than the pieces you like---- until you are ready for them. Fur Elise is not for a beginning pianist who needs to develop skills, if you want, as others have mentioned, to really learn to play classical rather than learn to play a couple of pieces. You will progress farther, faster, if you develop patience.

Decide if you are in it for the long run this time, or if you want to learn only your favorite pieces.


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