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Re: Adult vs Child Students [Re: dogperson] #2711490
02/04/18 04:05 PM
02/04/18 04:05 PM
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Dogperson, you could volunteer and play at a nursing home maybe during dinner times or lunch times. The residents love when people play the piano. Also, if there is a local Veterans Affairs Medical Center you could call volunteer services and ask about playing the the Veterans in the nursing home unit. Most of the units have pianos. Also, most nursing homes have pianos as well. Just a thought!


Deb
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Re: Adult vs Child Students [Re: 8 Octaves] #2711494
02/04/18 04:16 PM
02/04/18 04:16 PM
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I should modify my post. Yes there are opportunities to play, but not opportunities to play the classical repertoire that I study as part of my lessons. I have played for church and I have played for funerals, And have occasionally been working on a program for nursing homes, but it would not be a heavy classical repertoire.

Edited to add: The lack of an opportunity to play classical repertoire has not affected how I practice it.

Last edited by dogperson; 02/04/18 04:20 PM.
Re: Adult vs Child Students [Re: dogperson] #2711506
02/04/18 04:56 PM
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Originally Posted by dogperson
Originally Posted by TimR
This is a very interesting thread. It has led me to think more about practice and reevaluate my approach.

I wonder about another possible factor.

Some people derive all their reward from playing privately. They will take lessons and dedicate themselves to practice, without ever intending to perform. Maybe the knowledge that this is their path affects how they feel about practice? .....
.


I have no opportunity to perform, but it does not affect how I practice


I don't want to analyze you or put thoughts in your head, but this is what occurs to me as a possibility.

You do music for music's sake, and it occasionally allows or requires you to perform.

I perform, therefore I must practice music.

Are these the same function? Maybe. I don't know.

People do yoga, and there is no performance ever. People do ballet, and they use it somewhere. Physically the effort may be similarly but the intent is not. Maybe?


gotta go practice
Re: Adult vs Child Students [Re: TimR] #2711512
02/04/18 05:18 PM
02/04/18 05:18 PM
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Originally Posted by TimR


Sorry. No antecedent for that pronoun - very poor writing.

Video gaming has no appeal for me. I don't know why. It seems to be designed to hook people easily, and it does that very well.

Part of it may be the social milieu. People of an age to play video games probably find most of their peers do the same, and there is some group reinforcement. People of my age may have more friends who play instruments, and that may be part of the appeal. I dunno.

Tim, if you are only thinking of action games, then you missed my larger point.

There are some really cool games like "The Room". They are not action. They are not timed. You have to work out puzzles, figure out how to unlock things, solve things. My wife and I play such games for hours.

I loathe things that are timed, that make me feel pressure. The great thing about music is that you don't have to play anything fast until you are ready. You are in control. Perhaps not so true in an ensemble. wink

I have talked repeatedly of "losing time". Of course I am talking about losing track of time, but my phrase is a little bit more humorous, and it gets the attention of students. It's the opposite of watching the clock, which is what people do when they are doing something they think they HAVE to do or SHOULD do but can't wait to be done with it.

Last edited by Gary D.; 02/04/18 05:20 PM.

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Re: Adult vs Child Students [Re: DFSRN] #2711520
02/04/18 05:32 PM
02/04/18 05:32 PM
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Originally Posted by DFSRN
Gary, did you ever think of suggesting Google Play apps, there are a bunch out there ones for reading notes, identifying scales, intervals, etc.

They don't seem to work for my students.

What I do for reading notes is WAY ahead of what the apps do.

But for the other stuff, I don't know. I've suggested different things for students, and they do not seem to get anywhere with them. For one thing, too much misinformation.

Number one problem: I don't believe that hearing and playing should be separated into two different things. I'm busy teaching people to PLAY scales and arpeggios and chords-

If they can't play them, they aren't going to hear them. This does not mean that if they can play them, they WILL hear them.

I'll repeat what I have said many times - singers have the worst connection between anything written and what they are trying "hear", unless they play an instrument. So I do not believe singing or ear training works without playing an instrument.


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Re: Adult vs Child Students [Re: TimR] #2711524
02/04/18 05:41 PM
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Originally Posted by TimR

I don't want to analyze you or put thoughts in your head, but this is what occurs to me as a possibility.

You do music for music's sake, and it occasionally allows or requires you to perform.

I perform, therefore I must practice music.

Are these the same function? Maybe. I don't know.

The payoff is a successful performance, publicly.

How is that different from working in a way that allows you to play something right, just for yourself?

You can spend 95% of your time or more just playing music, when you play piano. I know because that's what I've done for many decades. You will run into scales, arpeggios and chords all over the place. Just learning and perfecting music is enough.

Trombone is different.

I'm not saying that you don't need scales and such on piano, only that the relationship to technical studies and music you want to play is not the same.

If you are not interested or absorbed in what you are practicing/playing , the results will be inferior. If your practice is a chore, then you won't find out what is wrong until your perform, and it starts to go wrong.

That doesn't mean that every minute is fun, just that while you are playing or working, you need to be focused like a laser to get maximum results, and your attitude needs to be to do whatever it takes to master what you are supposedly focused on.

I can't focus the same way on something I either hate or do not like doing. I don't understand how you can.


Last edited by Gary D.; 02/04/18 05:41 PM.

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Re: Adult vs Child Students [Re: TimR] #2711564
02/04/18 10:18 PM
02/04/18 10:18 PM
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Last edited by keystring; 02/05/18 12:13 AM.
Re: Adult vs Child Students [Re: 8 Octaves] #2711568
02/04/18 10:54 PM
02/04/18 10:54 PM
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I don't perform regularly, but whenever I do, my practice tends to become more focused and driven with purpose.

So, for me, performance is still important.


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Re: Adult vs Child Students [Re: AZNpiano] #2711594
02/05/18 03:11 AM
02/05/18 03:11 AM
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Originally Posted by AZNpiano
I don't perform regularly, but whenever I do, my practice tends to become more focused and driven with purpose.

So, for me, performance is still important.


Yep. I perform rarely, and only as an accompanist. But if I never performed at all, I don't think I would have the incentive to practice. Sometimes I only see the music (if there even is music) a day or day before the performance. Then my practice is very much more focused.

Re: Adult vs Child Students [Re: 8 Octaves] #2711630
02/05/18 09:22 AM
02/05/18 09:22 AM
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Some time ago here I posted a link to that Ted Talk that said to keep improving you need to move back and forth between the practice domain and the performance domain, and be aware of when you're in each.

That makes sense to me. Performance doesn't have to mean public performance, it can be just a different mode.


gotta go practice
Re: Adult vs Child Students [Re: TimR] #2711643
02/05/18 10:41 AM
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Originally Posted by TimR
Some time ago here I posted a link to that Ted Talk that said to keep improving you need to move back and forth between the practice domain and the performance domain, and be aware of when you're in each.

That makes sense to me. Performance doesn't have to mean public performance, it can be just a different mode.

That's quite a personal definition of "performance".

Shouldn't the goal always be to play something so that it sounds good?


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Re: Adult vs Child Students [Re: Gary D.] #2711651
02/05/18 11:19 AM
02/05/18 11:19 AM
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Originally Posted by Gary D.
Originally Posted by TimR
Some time ago here I posted a link to that Ted Talk that said to keep improving you need to move back and forth between the practice domain and the performance domain, and be aware of when you're in each.

That makes sense to me. Performance doesn't have to mean public performance, it can be just a different mode.

That's quite a personal definition of "performance".

Shouldn't the goal always be to play something so that it sounds good?


It's not my original definition of performance. I'm trying to be more inclusive, to include those who will never play in public.

That link we discussed before:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YKACzIrog24&list=PLOGi5-fAu8bEUnIt2TJMHaJFF5CkOROZz

differentiated between learning mode where risks are taken and error is not punished, and performance mode.

It was a useful distinction but not profound.


gotta go practice
Re: Adult vs Child Students [Re: 8 Octaves] #2711655
02/05/18 11:44 AM
02/05/18 11:44 AM
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The guy in the Ted talk is using the word "performance" according to one specialized meaning, and it means roughly to do an action. I just heated a cup of coffee in the microwave, added milk and sweetener, and stirred it. This is an action that I performed. If I do this every day the same way, unthinkingly, and every day it's too hot so that I have to wait half an hour, then I'm continually in a "performance" mode. In other words, it is "mindless routine actions". This is what he is targeting.

The other side of this is when I see my coffee is too hot, I pay attention to how many seconds I set the microwave to. I might go trial and error, decreasing it by 10 seconds until I get the right temperature, or I might calculate it if I'm a mad physicist. This is "learning mode". Once I have figured out how many seconds will give me the perfect coffee temperature, I will use those numbers every time I make myself coffee. When I do that, I'm back in "performance mode".

He could have said "People who don't mindlessly go through routines forever, but instead observe what they are doing and the results, and then do things differently, these are the people who gradually improve."

He could have said that. He could have come up with a cute maxim like "Think before you act. Observe after you act. Adjust." but then he would not have sounded as scientific.

It's sort of "d'uh" though, to be honest.

He is not pushing "performance" in the sense of going out in public. He is pushing the idea of observing, analyzing, experimenting, so that you can change your routine things, and thereby improve.

I deleted both my posts yesterday because each time it was as if nothing had been said. I put a lot into the first one and have simply saved it to the computer. This thread frustrates me immensely at time.

Re: Adult vs Child Students [Re: 8 Octaves] #2711662
02/05/18 12:23 PM
02/05/18 12:23 PM
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I'm assuming that this thread is about students and learning, because the original title is about child students and adult students. I'm a student primarily and my goal is learning. I originally answered the question about "difference in practising" depending on whether you are performing by stating that one practises toward a goal, and if that goal is to improve a given piece, you will do the same things whether that piece will be performed or played for yourself. The goal is still the improved piece, and the same actions must be taken.

But I don't think the question was asked to find out what we thought, but more by way of bringing forth pre-existing ideas.

Now going to the actual issue of "performance" as in recitals, for example, with a view of my goal of learning (why I would take lessons at any time).

First: The goal I have stated frequently is acquiring "skills and knowledge". No, I am not a nerdy whatsit to think that way. I'm enough of a musician to be aware that if I know what I don't know, can do things I can't yet do, and hear in new ways, my playing will be better. Also, I will be able to tackle pieces with ease that I couldn't before. Here is a SIMPLISTIC example: for 40 years I didn't know how key signatures worked. I was stuck in about 3 major keys and their relative minors. If this part isn't clear, please let me know. smile

2nd: To get at these things, I need to do particular things. I might want to play pieces or etudes that contain things that I need to practice and improve, and I might not necessarily push these pieces to their limit, since this is my goal. I may need to study things I will use, in theory. It may be good for me to go through a variety of pieces for what I can learn in each one, but not stay forever or exclusively on any of them. This is the OPPOSITE of what can happen when "performance" is on the horizon. If I have a teacher who is big on performance, we may spend a huge amount of time on that one "performance piece". I may also find that in order to polish that performance piece, I have to spend 90% of my time on it. That leaves 10% of my time for the learning activities that I want to do.

I've highlighted some key things in the hopes that it will actually get read.

Starting with the last highlighted statement: If I am prevented from doing these other activities that bring about my learning because I have to focus on polishing a piece for a performance, I experience this as demoralizing - it's a real "downer". Where before I couldn't spend enough time at the instrument, now I have to force myself. I have to force myself to stay with "the piece that has to be polished for performance", must prevent myself from doing the things I want to do instead in music, and that conflict also drains me of energy.

Additionally (please don't ignore and just quote a random sentence here and there) -- My personal experience has been that when I gain skills, knowledge, the ability to hear, that these have the side effect of making every new piece I learn to be easier to learn, and to sound better. For me personally, aiming toward performance is putting the cart before the horse.

This is also why a performance (such as recitals) as a main goal are such disincentives. I've been there. I would practice these pieces that were put forth in order to "motivate" me, struggle with the same things. Yes, I could spot-solve a problem in this and that measure. But while at the music stand I thought, "If only I could put these two pieces away, and work on the skills I need." Or in the last 6 weeks before a recital, what I dubbed "performance season", I counted the days until January when for a couple of months the "real things" could be worked on.

This is why "performances" (as in, in front of others --- not as in the clinical meaning of "performance" as an action) do not get me to practice more, but the opposite. If, otoh, I have worked on the music things that motivate me, which also includes discovering things in a piece, developing it, and eventually enjoying it, then this may cause me ---- after the fact ---- to perform it. As in, "Come share my delight."

Re: Adult vs Child Students [Re: 8 Octaves] #2711663
02/05/18 12:25 PM
02/05/18 12:25 PM
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I pretty well expect neither of my posts will be read. I don't have the time or energy to shorten them. I also expect that even if I do, either they'll be ignored or something cherry picked out of context. But just maybe I have expressed something that somebody else is experiencing and thinking. If so, it's also for them.

Re: Adult vs Child Students [Re: keystring] #2711669
02/05/18 12:43 PM
02/05/18 12:43 PM
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Originally Posted by keystring
The guy in the Ted talk is using the word "performance" according to one specialized meaning, and it means roughly to do an action. I just heated a cup of coffee in the microwave, added milk and sweetener, and stirred it. This is an action that I performed. If I do this every day the same way, unthinkingly, and every day it's too hot so that I have to wait half an hour, then I'm continually in a "performance" mode. In other words, it is "mindless routine actions". This is what he is targeting.

.


That was not his intent. A surgeon performing operations is not doing routine mindless actions. Neither is Beyoncé at a concert. But they have another mode of functioning, or should. (If Brady had practiced catching a football instead of just throwing it last night's game might have ended differently.)

It is a distinction I found useful. It's also a reminder that the things we do very well every day as part of our job or other activities can be improved, and tend to stagnate unless we put some effort in.

Also, in the flow of an action, careful self observation is very difficult, and can interfere with good performance. Some of that is best reserved to dedicated improvement activities.

You live in Canada - there's no way your coffee takes a half hour to cool down, even if you boil it. <humor>

One item I took from his talk was the idea that the learning zone should be a safe one, protected from risk. It isn't easy to do that in all settings, particularly with very sensitive students.


gotta go practice
Re: Adult vs Child Students [Re: 8 Octaves] #2711671
02/05/18 12:52 PM
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Thanks for responding, Tim.

I guess I didn't get that much out of the talk because that is already how I function, including in my profession. If by any chance you were pushing performing (in public) as a thing that will get a person to practice more, that doesn't work for me, and I have tried to explain why.

Could you do me a big favour and read what I wrote, and try to understand it. It can't be done in 5 minutes. wink I never know whether I've been able to bring things across.

Re: Adult vs Child Students [Re: 8 Octaves] #2711674
02/05/18 01:07 PM
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Originally Posted by TimR
You live in Canada - there's no way your coffee takes a half hour to cool down, even if you boil it. <humor>

lol laugh

Talking about risk-taking -- ice-covered walkways and sidewalks. I haven't dared be outside without a ski pole and even then, must step gingerly. Piano practice feels much less risky atm.

Re: Adult vs Child Students [Re: TimR] #2711716
02/05/18 04:22 PM
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Originally Posted by TimR
Originally Posted by Gary D.
Originally Posted by TimR
Some time ago here I posted a link to that Ted Talk that said to keep improving you need to move back and forth between the practice domain and the performance domain, and be aware of when you're in each.

That makes sense to me. Performance doesn't have to mean public performance, it can be just a different mode.

That's quite a personal definition of "performance".

Shouldn't the goal always be to play something so that it sounds good?


It's not my original definition of performance. I'm trying to be more inclusive, to include those who will never play in public.

That link we discussed before:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YKACzIrog24&list=PLOGi5-fAu8bEUnIt2TJMHaJFF5CkOROZz

differentiated between learning mode where risks are taken and error is not punished, and performance mode.

It was a useful distinction but not profound.

If you play for your wife/girl friend/partner,

if you play for someone in your family,

or a friend,

or if you record yourself,

to me it's all the same...


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Re: Adult vs Child Students [Re: 8 Octaves] #2711729
02/05/18 04:56 PM
02/05/18 04:56 PM
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In the Ted talk, the word "perform" was used in a specialized way, and simply means "action". If I'm a secretary typing out letters, that is my "job performance". The term "job performance" (mediocre job performance, enhanced job performance) may be more familiar in everyday language. Another familiar version of this usage is when we say someone "performs a task". If you change a lightbulb, that is the task you are performing.

The main idea is that if our secretary is a trained typist, she doesn't have to stagnate at her present trained level. She can improve the level of her work by learning more efficient ways, observing herself, not just mindlessly do what she has always done. That part is deemed "learning" as opposed to the routine "job performance". You may perform the task of changing a lightbulb better if you remember to bring the bulb with you before you climb up the stepladder, and also, if you have that stepladder. If you almost fell off a rickety box last time, and you observe that having a stepladder might be a good idea next time, that's the "learning" part in the talk.

It has nothing to do with what we think of as "performing" in front of a crowd, a friend, or your goldfish, or even yourself. The word "perform" simply refers to an action that you do for some purpose.

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