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Drop of motivation #2799569
01/08/19 01:16 AM
01/08/19 01:16 AM
Joined: May 2018
Posts: 323
Quebec city, QC
CadenzaVvi Offline OP
Full Member
CadenzaVvi  Offline OP
Full Member

Joined: May 2018
Posts: 323
Quebec city, QC
But I'm still here!

Some have surely noticed that I wasn't around in the past months. My piano wasn't completely silent during that period, but I noticed a big drop in motivation from August to today. It is hard to explain why. I have some hypothesis, but no certainties :

- My job being demanding, I'm very tired. Practicing often looks like something too demanding for what is left of my capacity to focus.
- I might getting in the learning phase were you tend to be more and more aware of what is wrong with your playing, without being able to fix it, causing more frustration. I've heard that people getting to that stage often quit - which I don't think I'll do, be reassured.
- I have other hobbies that take part of my time, leaving less for the piano.

My teacher is also telling me that I'm onto repertoire that is a signifiant step harder than last year's (even though it is "only" one level harder, on an exam perspective).

So I'll probably have to review my objectives for the year 2018-2019. I won't be able, most probably, to go for my exams in May/June (last year, at the same period, I had three pieces that were pretty solid, one that was slowly coming by, and still one to completely learn. This year, I have a piece that is decent, two pieces that I've somewhat learnt the first half or so, and two pieces to learn completely, that I haven't started at all... well, I could recycle my Mozart K545, 1st movement instead of learning the Beethoven's I was supposed to). I don't want to stress myself with that, that was never the intention with the exams. But I'm still disappointed. I would like to return to my former motivation and dedication. I'm hoping that being off work for 2 weeks will have helped me recover enough to get back to the piano more intensively this winter.

I'm kind of hesitating concerning exams, because the ones I'm taking only takes place once a year. So if I don't do it this year, I have to postpone for a whole year. I probably won't be interested in maintaining the same 5-pieces repertoire for 2 years. I could split up the exam on two years, but the problem will be relatively the same (I would have to present 2 pieces + 1 etude or 2 pieces + the technical requirements this year, and the other part the second year, so still 5-piece repertoire over 2 years). Not to mention I haven't started practicing an etude yet and my scales, arpeggios and exercices are not ready at all (ok, ok, I still have 5 months to learn them). One middle ground could be to keep some of my repertoire for an exam next year and get something fresh to replace some of it.

I could also simply forget the exams, but it has been something very positive for me last year. It really gave a meaning to my practice, in a way. I had a tangible goal. I had to be thorough, and it was great for me. No shortcut or thinking "meh, it sounds good anyway!" And it forced myself to embrace every aspects of the musicianship, whereas I know I wouldn't be as motivated to embrace it without the challenge of the exam (all the ear training and sight singing stuff). So that's not an idea I really like.

I've asked my teacher before starting the fall semester if he thought exams were the best way (I wanted him to be confortable to go another way if he judged it was the best way, like going back a bit onto easier repertoire to work on my weaknesses) and he said yes. So that's not the issue. When I talked a bit about that with him somewhere in December, he was still convinced I could manage to be ready for the exams this Spring (I could have one more month compared to last year, since I took the first available date last year, in the first weekend of May. I doubt that will be enough though). Maybe I could be, but with a lesser mastery over my pieces than last year, which would then result in lower score (which might not be that bad. I had an average of 9/10 on my pieces last year). Will that disappoint me? I'm not sure.
Then I might hold back on exams for a year.

I a bit confused about what I should do.
My practice time went from 8-12 hours a week to 2-4 hours, so, in comparison, my progress is ridiculously slow and discouraging, which feeds the lack of motivation, in a vicious circle.

I know ups and downs are part of the process, so I try not get to concerned about that, which is a little bit hard to do though. I try to keep going to my piano regularly, but I really hope the spark will come back! It's really lacking recently...

I still take some recordings once in a while to measure my progress. So there still some, but god that it feels slow and I know it is because I'm practicing way less than before! *sight*

I'm not really hoping anything by posting that here, but it is kind of a relief to share that with people that will probably understand what I'm going through, because it is not the kind of things my friends and family quite get, sadly. So just thank you to be here! smile

Last edited by CadenzaVvi; 01/08/19 01:18 AM.

My piano journey from day 1
Started piano on February 2016.
Pieces I'm working on :
- Rameau, Les Sauvages
- (Classical piece TBD)
- Chopin, nocturne op. posth. in C# minor
- Debussy, Golliwog's cakewalk
- Pozzoli, E.R. 427, etude no. 6
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Re: Drop of motivation [Re: CadenzaVvi] #2799578
01/08/19 02:09 AM
01/08/19 02:09 AM
Joined: Apr 2018
Posts: 3,131
Tyrone Slothrop Online content
Tyrone Slothrop  Online Content


Joined: Apr 2018
Posts: 3,131
Originally Posted by CadenzaVvi
But I'm still here!

Great to see you! I was afraid you'd quit as you sounded already demotivated the last time you dropped by. Happy to hear you are sticking with it. thumb

Originally Posted by CadenzaVvi
I'm kind of hesitating concerning exams, because the ones I'm taking only takes place once a year. So if I don't do it this year, I have to postpone for a whole year.

Would it be possible to cross-over to the Royal Conservatory of Music (RCM) exams instead of the école préparatoire Anna Marie Globensky exams? Wouldn't RCM be given more often? I don't know if they are as popular in Quebec or just the anglophone parts of Canada or if your teacher would be prepared to work with you on RCM exams.


across the stone, deathless piano performances

"Discipline is more reliable than motivation." -by a contributor on Reddit r/piano
"Success is 10% inspiration, and 90% perspiration." -by some other wise person
Re: Drop of motivation [Re: CadenzaVvi] #2799592
01/08/19 03:52 AM
01/08/19 03:52 AM
Joined: May 2018
Posts: 323
Quebec city, QC
CadenzaVvi Offline OP
Full Member
CadenzaVvi  Offline OP
Full Member

Joined: May 2018
Posts: 323
Quebec city, QC
I might, but RCM are way more expensive (like 4 times more) and the technical requirements, ear training, etc. are not the same, so I'd have to practice other things. Also, pieces are not ranked the same, so I'm not sure I could play what I'm practicing right now for a level 8. So that's not really an option in my mind. I'd like to stick with the École préparatoire. More convenient (I don't have to hit the road for 3 hours to get to my exam), cheaper (like 75$ for both theory and practice; not to mention saving a trip to Montreal) and I have practiced what is in that syllabus requirements.

An option that I haven't listed but that is possible is to do a formative evaluation (so having an "exam" without doing a particular level and without getting a grade. Simply comments and critics on how to improve). That still would postpone my level 8 for a year, so it doesn't really solve the problem.


Piano has bring me too much to abandon so quickly! wink
I'm still thinking I'm in a bad "phase" but that it is temporary. I hope so.


My piano journey from day 1
Started piano on February 2016.
Pieces I'm working on :
- Rameau, Les Sauvages
- (Classical piece TBD)
- Chopin, nocturne op. posth. in C# minor
- Debussy, Golliwog's cakewalk
- Pozzoli, E.R. 427, etude no. 6
Re: Drop of motivation [Re: CadenzaVvi] #2799626
01/08/19 07:38 AM
01/08/19 07:38 AM
Joined: Jun 2018
Posts: 382
Sweden
Animisha Online content
Full Member
Animisha  Online Content
Full Member

Joined: Jun 2018
Posts: 382
Sweden
Originally Posted by CadenzaVvi
-My job being demanding, I'm very tired. Practicing often looks like something too demanding for what is left of my capacity to focus.

This was my situation when I decided to buy a piano, and start learning how to play. Not such a good idea. Now I am at home with a burn-out that seems to never go away.
So my advice is to take this very seriously. Maybe what you need when you come home from work is not to practise the piano, but to do yoga. Or take a bath. Or watch television. Or just stare out of the window. Maybe your lack of motivation is a way of your body-mind to tell you it is overloaded and you need to rest and recover. (Most people get a burn-out not because they work too hard, but because they don't rest and recover after having worked so hard.)

And maybe you can play the piano just play for fun and for relaxation and not try to pass an exam.

My five cents. Good luck, whatever you decide CadenzaVvi!


Playing the piano is learning to create, playfully and deeply seriously, our own music in the world.
Re: Drop of motivation [Re: CadenzaVvi] #2799648
01/08/19 08:44 AM
01/08/19 08:44 AM
Joined: Jan 2018
Posts: 1,919
In the Ozarks of Missouri
NobleHouse Online content
1000 Post Club Member
NobleHouse  Online Content
1000 Post Club Member

Joined: Jan 2018
Posts: 1,919
In the Ozarks of Missouri
I for one, am very happy to see you posting again. I missed your posts.


[Linked Image]
Re: Drop of motivation [Re: CadenzaVvi] #2799694
01/08/19 10:33 AM
01/08/19 10:33 AM
Joined: Apr 2018
Posts: 3,131
Tyrone Slothrop Online content
Tyrone Slothrop  Online Content


Joined: Apr 2018
Posts: 3,131
Originally Posted by CadenzaVvi
I might, but RCM are way more expensive (like 4 times more)

Wow. That's a big difference indeed. Although exams are things you only take once, ever (or at least that is the goal!)

Originally Posted by CadenzaVvi
Also, pieces are not ranked the same, so I'm not sure I could play what I'm practicing right now for a level 8.

Which pieces you are hoping to play for your grade 8 exam and have you already been working on all of them? Is it all 4 of the Rameau, Beethoven, Chopin, and Debussy on your PW profile page? Because if so, Beethoven Sonatina in G Minor, op. 49, no. 1 is indeed RCM Grade 8 List B as is K545, but Chopin Nocturne in C sharp Minor, op. posth., B 49 is RCM Grade 9 List C and Debussy Golliwogg’s Cake-Walk (no. 6) is Grade 9 List D. If you were to do RCM instead this year, it looks like you could keep two of your pieces for Grade 8 (either Beethoven or K545 for List C, and one of either the Chopin or Debussy (since you are allowed one piece from next higher level) or shoot for a Grade 9 exam with Chopin and Debussy and go with new new List A and B pieces. Before you rule out either of these options entirely, you might want to just take a peek at the RCM syllabus here as you might find that the technical requirements overlap.

Originally Posted by CadenzaVvi
More convenient (I don't have to hit the road for 3 hours to get to my exam), cheaper (like 75$ for both theory and practice; not to mention saving a trip to Montreal)

I just took a look, and I was shocked to see that while Ontario has dozens of RCM exam locations, Quebec only has two locations! Apparently, I might have been more right with my earlier Anglophone quip than I realized, because I don't know how to explain this difference otherwise, except to observe there might actually be an active bias against the RCM exams in Quebec (or that, like you, Québécois that do piano exams just largely prefer your école préparatoire Anna Marie Globensky exams).

Originally Posted by CadenzaVvi
That still would postpone my level 8 for a year, so it doesn't really solve the problem.

I'm with Animisha on observing that your physical/mental/emotional health should come first over piano and should not be ignored. If your present and ongoing malaise indeed suggests a broader health issue, then addressing that probably is more important than the long-term consequences of skipping a year for your Grade 8 exam. Consider that if you had started piano a year earlier, you might have been considering the year 8 exam last year. If you had started a year later, it wouldn't have been until next year. None of this will have global consequences, neither to you nor your family, while not fixing health issues might. I can say this as my wife has been suffering from a diagnosed Chronic Fatigue Syndrome that has drained her of her energy and has been difficult to treat. If you are worried about losing motivation/momentum from postponing the Grade 8 exam, then you may want to come up with interim goals for piano that have nothing to do with the exam. Are there specific stretch pieces not on the exam list which you've thought you might like to learn, but were waiting for all the exams over with to take on? Other goals? Taking on the ABF 40 piece a year challenge? Play at some recitals your teacher organizes (assuming like most teachers, your teacher has studio recitals)? Other challenges arising from within?

Originally Posted by CadenzaVvi
Piano has bring me too much to abandon so quickly! wink

Pushing out your grade 8 exam should not be considered equivalent to abandoning piano altogether. You have too closely associate piano grade level exams with playing piano itself. That itself is probably not healthy because after all the exams are over, you might feel at a loss when there are no longer concrete goals to aim for. Best to wean yourself from this particular motivation and urge now. Not to say "ditch the exams," but become less motivated by exams, because at grade 8, you don't have many more to go before you are "on your own" as they say!

Originally Posted by CadenzaVvi
I'm still thinking I'm in a bad "phase" but that it is temporary. I hope so.

Hang in there! I meant it when I wrote a few months ago that I found your Youtube channel inspirational to my earlier progress, because you zipped along so quickly at the beginning, and I am especially amazed at how quickly you approached Petzold's Minuet in G Major only 5 days into your personal piano journey smile


across the stone, deathless piano performances

"Discipline is more reliable than motivation." -by a contributor on Reddit r/piano
"Success is 10% inspiration, and 90% perspiration." -by some other wise person
Re: Drop of motivation [Re: Tyrone Slothrop] #2799736
01/08/19 01:02 PM
01/08/19 01:02 PM
Joined: May 2018
Posts: 323
Quebec city, QC
CadenzaVvi Offline OP
Full Member
CadenzaVvi  Offline OP
Full Member

Joined: May 2018
Posts: 323
Quebec city, QC
Originally Posted by Tyrone Slothrop
Originally Posted by CadenzaVvi
I might, but RCM are way more expensive (like 4 times more)

Wow. That's a big difference indeed. Although exams are things you only take once, ever (or at least that is the goal!)
Originally Posted by CadenzaVvi
More convenient (I don't have to hit the road for 3 hours to get to my exam), cheaper (like 75$ for both theory and practice; not to mention saving a trip to Montreal)

I just took a look, and I was shocked to see that while Ontario has dozens of RCM exam locations, Quebec only has two locations! Apparently, I might have been more right with my earlier Anglophone quip than I realized, because I don't know how to explain this difference otherwise, except to observe there might actually be an active bias against the RCM exams in Quebec (or that, like you, Québécois that do piano exams just largely prefer your école préparatoire Anna Marie Globensky exams).

Maybe these two goes together. I know that the École préparatoire gives exams all over the province. A judge from the École préparatoire of the correct instrument will go to teacher’s studios to pass their students exams. There is a minimum requirement of a number of students for the judge to go there, but that’s it. I think it is more convenient than having to go to a specific place to pass the exam, plus the price. Heck, when I looked at RCM, itw as $120 for the theory and $150 for the instrument (or so). Last year, I paid $20 for theory and $60 for instrument. Anybody given that choice would probably choose the latter. Plus, the École préparatoire syllabus is recognized by the Education office of Quebec government so high school students can have credits at school for passing their exams.
On the other hand, people can decide to pass RCM exams on their own, as you need to go through an affiliated teacher to pass the École préparatoire's one (the affiliation is free though, but there are some requirements regarding diplomas).

Originally Posted by Tyrone Slothrop
Originally Posted by CadenzaVvi
Also, pieces are not ranked the same, so I'm not sure I could play what I'm practicing right now for a level 8.

Which pieces you are hoping to play for your grade 8 exam and have you already been working on all of them? Is it all 4 of the Rameau, Beethoven, Chopin, and Debussy on your PW profile page? Because if so, Beethoven Sonatina in G Minor, op. 49, no. 1 is indeed RCM Grade 8 List B as is K545, but Chopin Nocturne in C sharp Minor, op. posth., B 49 is RCM Grade 9 List C and Debussy Golliwogg’s Cake-Walk (no. 6) is Grade 9 List D. If you were to do RCM instead this year, it looks like you could keep two of your pieces for Grade 8 (either Beethoven or K545 for List C, and one of either the Chopin or Debussy (since you are allowed one piece from next higher level) or shoot for a Grade 9 exam with Chopin and Debussy and go with new new List A and B pieces. Before you rule out either of these options entirely, you might want to just take a peek at the RCM syllabus here as you might find that the technical requirements overlap.

I have practiced the Rameau, the Chopin and the Debussy (in that order of mastery of each). And the Mozart would be the most advanced, since I’ve played it at the Summer recital in here, as you can hear if you go back to the pieces from that recital. smile

Originally Posted by Tyrone Slothrop
Originally Posted by CadenzaVvi
That still would postpone my level 8 for a year, so it doesn't really solve the problem.

I'm with Animisha on observing that your physical/mental/emotional health should come first over piano and should not be ignored. If your present and ongoing malaise indeed suggests a broader health issue, then addressing that probably is more important than the long-term consequences of skipping a year for your Grade 8 exam. Consider that if you had started piano a year earlier, you might have been considering the year 8 exam last year. If you had started a year later, it wouldn't have been until next year. None of this will have global consequences, neither to you nor your family, while not fixing health issues might. I can say this as my wife has been suffering from a diagnosed Chronic Fatigue Syndrome that has drained her of her energy and has been difficult to treat. If you are worried about losing motivation/momentum from postponing the Grade 8 exam, then you may want to come up with interim goals for piano that have nothing to do with the exam. Are there specific stretch pieces not on the exam list which you've thought you might like to learn, but were waiting for all the exams over with to take on? Other goals? Taking on the ABF 40 piece a year challenge? Play at some recitals your teacher organizes (assuming like most teachers, your teacher has studio recitals)? Other challenges arising from within?
Originally Posted by CadenzaVvi
Piano has bring me too much to abandon so quickly! wink

Pushing out your grade 8 exam should not be considered equivalent to abandoning piano altogether. You have too closely associate piano grade level exams with playing piano itself. That itself is probably not healthy because after all the exams are over, you might feel at a loss when there are no longer concrete goals to aim for. Best to wean yourself from this particular motivation and urge now. Not to say "ditch the exams," but become less motivated by exams, because at grade 8, you don't have many more to go before you are "on your own" as they say!

That last sentence was simply an answer to your first post saying you were afraid I would quit. I’m not considering that ditching exams = quitting piano. wink
The question of exams is on my mind right now mostly because the subscription must be made before the end of the month, so I have to decide on that matter in the next 2 weeks or so.
As for pieces, I think my actual pieces are already stretch pieces, at least for the Chopin and the Debussy. I have a few pieces of similar difficulty that I would be interested in learning, but I’m always open to a lot of things, so finding pieces to learn is never really an issue. I must say though that the Chopin and the Debussy I’ve chosen for that exam are two pieces that I love and I’d really like to keep those for an exam, should there be one.
As for fatigue, I guess you are right. I’m taking this problem very seriously. There is nothing abnormal physically (I’ve checked that with my physician), so our best guess is stress. And I’ve realized during my vacation that I’m way more stressed than I’m conscious of when I’m at work, so that’s a plausible explanation. I’ve started seeing a psychologist to address that, but those things take time. So we’ll see in a few weeks/months if this leads to some improvements.
Oh, and no, my teacher doesn’t give any recital. He finished is Master degree last year and he is still giving me lessons at the conservatory. He is not affiliated with any music school (afaik) and I don’t know if he has any other students. In fact, this is one of the reason I hopped into exams in the first place: having an opportunity to play for other people than my teacher and my family and friends. Even though it is only one judge.
As for levels interrupting soonish, I already have some plans for the after-exams. Well, in fact, I have 3 ideas in mind: doing formative evaluations with the École préparatoire; finding competitions open to adult amateurs (I sincerely hope this exists, but we will see when my level 11 will be behind me); taking lessons in a music school with recitals taking place like twice a year or joining recitals in a music school that would allow me to play.
But we are talking of something that will occur in 2023 or later, which is more years than the time I’ve spent on the piano, so I’m really not concerned about that right now. I simply have already thought that through a bit, but I’ll see when I’ll get there!

Originally Posted by Tyrone Slothrop
Originally Posted by CadenzaVvi
I'm still thinking I'm in a bad "phase" but that it is temporary. I hope so.

Hang in there! I meant it when I wrote a few months ago that I found your Youtube channel inspirational to my earlier progress, because you zipped along so quickly at the beginning, and I am especially amazed at how quickly you approached Petzold's Minuet in G Major only 5 days into your personal piano journey smile

Well, it is clearly a matter of having done some music in the past. I couldn’t have learnt that minuet so fast otherwise.
In some ways though, I went too fast at first. That’s a thing I explain in one of my video (but it’s in French, so…). If I summarize what I was saying in here – which is a video in which I explain where I come from, music-wise, and how I approached piano at first – I had a prior experience of music as a clarinet and sax player in high school when I started the piano. The choice of getting a teacher was obvious to me – and I suggest that anyone that can have one do so if they are beginners or intermediates. I don’t recommend though that beginners follow my steps. My first teacher really pushed me too fast into hard repertoire and I’m sure that it wasn’t the best way to learn. It led to some frustrations (it took loads of time, practice and efforts to manage to get something somewhat okay from a piece and I could never polish them because there were too much of a stretch. Heck, Rachmaninoff’s prelude in C# minor at 9 months of piano playing…). And I know that my teacher had good intentions. I discussed with him later, and he told me he was afraid I would be bored with too easy pieces. Which led to one of my advice in that video: if you have a teacher, tell him/her what your goals are. This is very important and I only done that last Fall with my current teacher, and never done that in the past. I should. I would probably avoided that weird beginning tackling with hard repertoire in my first year of piano, which led to some bad habits, when one of the reason to take lessons was precisely to avoid – as much as possible – to get bad habits.


My piano journey from day 1
Started piano on February 2016.
Pieces I'm working on :
- Rameau, Les Sauvages
- (Classical piece TBD)
- Chopin, nocturne op. posth. in C# minor
- Debussy, Golliwog's cakewalk
- Pozzoli, E.R. 427, etude no. 6
Re: Drop of motivation [Re: CadenzaVvi] #2799918
01/08/19 11:44 PM
01/08/19 11:44 PM
Joined: May 2018
Posts: 323
Quebec city, QC
CadenzaVvi Offline OP
Full Member
CadenzaVvi  Offline OP
Full Member

Joined: May 2018
Posts: 323
Quebec city, QC
Well, I must say "your" Discord did the trick tonight. Connecting to a practice room, then practice. Just knowing someone can pass by at any time kind of forces you to be more intelligent in your practice and maybe to stay there a little bit longer. It mimics, in a way, playing at the conservatory, with people that could pass by your door at any time. I like that. laugh

It's a little sad that I can't hear myself out, though, so I can configure my mic. I'm not sure the sound was nice.


My piano journey from day 1
Started piano on February 2016.
Pieces I'm working on :
- Rameau, Les Sauvages
- (Classical piece TBD)
- Chopin, nocturne op. posth. in C# minor
- Debussy, Golliwog's cakewalk
- Pozzoli, E.R. 427, etude no. 6
Re: Drop of motivation [Re: CadenzaVvi] #2799921
01/09/19 12:10 AM
01/09/19 12:10 AM
Joined: Apr 2018
Posts: 3,131
Tyrone Slothrop Online content
Tyrone Slothrop  Online Content


Joined: Apr 2018
Posts: 3,131
Originally Posted by CadenzaVvi
Well, I must say "your" Discord did the trick tonight. Connecting to a practice room, then practice. Just knowing someone can pass by at any time kind of forces you to be more intelligent in your practice and maybe to stay there a little bit longer. It mimics, in a way, playing at the conservatory, with people that could pass by your door at any time. I like that. laugh

It's a little sad that I can't hear myself out, though, so I can configure my mic. I'm not sure the sound was nice.

I bet there is a way to set things up so you can hear yourself. For example, I am wondering if there is a Discord app for smartphone or tablet? You might ask others on Discord pinano channel about this. For example, you might ask NPhardness who is a PW member. She has a Discord channel.

BTW, the next step might be to plan for one of the biweekly recitals of the pinano channel. It might be motivating to focus on a short term goal (shorter term than an exam).


across the stone, deathless piano performances

"Discipline is more reliable than motivation." -by a contributor on Reddit r/piano
"Success is 10% inspiration, and 90% perspiration." -by some other wise person
Re: Drop of motivation [Re: Tyrone Slothrop] #2799927
01/09/19 12:42 AM
01/09/19 12:42 AM
Joined: Feb 2016
Posts: 1,752
Orange County, California
bSharp(C)yclist Offline
1000 Post Club Member
bSharp(C)yclist  Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Joined: Feb 2016
Posts: 1,752
Orange County, California
Originally Posted by Tyrone Slothrop

I am wondering if there is a Discord app for smartphone or tablet?


There is, I was just in a couple of practice rooms listening ...


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Re: Drop of motivation [Re: CadenzaVvi] #2799933
01/09/19 01:07 AM
01/09/19 01:07 AM
Joined: Dec 2008
Posts: 1,363
Portland, OR
tangleweeds Offline

Silver Supporter until Jan 11 2012
tangleweeds  Offline

Silver Supporter until Jan 11 2012


Joined: Dec 2008
Posts: 1,363
Portland, OR
OK I somehow missed the Discord connection. There are practice rooms on Discord? How does that work?


Please step aside. You're standing in your own way.
Re: Drop of motivation [Re: bSharp(C)yclist] #2799934
01/09/19 01:11 AM
01/09/19 01:11 AM
Joined: Apr 2018
Posts: 3,131
Tyrone Slothrop Online content
Tyrone Slothrop  Online Content


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Originally Posted by bSharp(C)yclist
Originally Posted by Tyrone Slothrop

I am wondering if there is a Discord app for smartphone or tablet?


There is, I was just in a couple of practice rooms listening ...

Well, in this case, then CadenzaVvi can connect her piano through her PC and set up a tablet/smartphone to connect in, perhaps using another dummy/test login, and listen to herself through some headphones to tune her mic.

I'm going to probably start practicing in the Discord practice rooms myself a bit later this month after things quiet down in my life. I think it will help with my performance anxiety to have people able to drop in and listen at any time. Eventually, I assume I will stop thinking about it.


across the stone, deathless piano performances

"Discipline is more reliable than motivation." -by a contributor on Reddit r/piano
"Success is 10% inspiration, and 90% perspiration." -by some other wise person
Re: Drop of motivation [Re: tangleweeds] #2799936
01/09/19 01:12 AM
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Originally Posted by tangleweeds
OK I somehow missed the Discord connection. There are practice rooms on Discord? How does that work?

Let me post a new thread on ABF about this.


across the stone, deathless piano performances

"Discipline is more reliable than motivation." -by a contributor on Reddit r/piano
"Success is 10% inspiration, and 90% perspiration." -by some other wise person
Re: Drop of motivation [Re: tangleweeds] #2799945
01/09/19 02:19 AM
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Originally Posted by tangleweeds
OK I somehow missed the Discord connection. There are practice rooms on Discord? How does that work?

I just made a separate post about practicing in a Discord Pinano virtual practice room.


across the stone, deathless piano performances

"Discipline is more reliable than motivation." -by a contributor on Reddit r/piano
"Success is 10% inspiration, and 90% perspiration." -by some other wise person
Re: Drop of motivation [Re: CadenzaVvi] #2799983
01/09/19 07:37 AM
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Concerning fatigue due to your day job:

This may be a useless suggestion, or it may be useful, but consider getting up early to practice before going to work. That way you will practice before getting fatigued. The flip side is of course that you may be more fatigued after work.

Another possibility is to supplement your way to less fatigue after work. There are many options in this regard. Adaptogens (herbs of almost magical utility, the most famous of which is probably Ginseng) are well suited to increase energy, and reduce stress. Personally, this month I am experimenting with Piracetam, taking 1,5 g per day. So far it has increased my practice discipline to a surprisingly large extent.


Roland FP-30, Roland E-28, Pianoteq 6.4 (Bechstein DG, Grotrian, Steinway D, K2)
Re: Drop of motivation [Re: Tyrone Slothrop] #2800030
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Originally Posted by Tyrone Slothrop
Originally Posted by tangleweeds
OK I somehow missed the Discord connection. There are practice rooms on Discord? How does that work?

I just made a separate post about practicing in a Discord Pinano virtual practice room.


On a similar note, we had toyed with the idea of an online piano partya while back, but it never happened. Interested in revitalizing it?


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Tchaikovsky Seasons: October

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Re: Drop of motivation [Re: cmb13] #2800035
01/09/19 10:06 AM
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Originally Posted by cmb13
Originally Posted by Tyrone Slothrop
Originally Posted by tangleweeds
OK I somehow missed the Discord connection. There are practice rooms on Discord? How does that work?

I just made a separate post about practicing in a Discord Pinano virtual practice room.


On a similar note, we had toyed with the idea of an online piano partya while back, but it never happened. Interested in revitalizing it?

We could. Might be easier to do on something like on a Discord server even if not on the Pinano Server, or on other voice chat systems like Team Speak and Ventrilo. We could simply make a PW Server on Discord. As usual, there are free options and paid options... Years ago, I set up TeamSpeak and Ventrilo servers for an online gaming group. Doing this is pretty easy.


across the stone, deathless piano performances

"Discipline is more reliable than motivation." -by a contributor on Reddit r/piano
"Success is 10% inspiration, and 90% perspiration." -by some other wise person
Re: Drop of motivation [Re: CadenzaVvi] #2800036
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@Jouishy La Pianiste, I have to wonder if backing down the pace and expectations might help. I have learned to enjoy the journey rather than viewing the endpoint of a certain grade level. Getting through grade 8 exams in 2 years is like the surgeon who does the 10 minute scrub in 2 minutes. (Forgive me I use this one a lot). There's no way to do it without cutting corners, and maybe the corner you're cutting is the having fun corner.

While I think exams are admirable and it's really cool you're going that route, learning with a goal of passing a high level exam can take over, possibly take the fun out of it. What's the rush? Why not learn just for the fun of learning? Take your time! Take the exams when you're good and ready. Especially when you're so young, have so much time ahead of you, and have so many other competing interests.


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Re: Drop of motivation [Re: Tyrone Slothrop] #2800038
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Originally Posted by Tyrone Slothrop
Originally Posted by cmb13
Originally Posted by Tyrone Slothrop
Originally Posted by tangleweeds
OK I somehow missed the Discord connection. There are practice rooms on Discord? How does that work?

I just made a separate post about practicing in a Discord Pinano virtual practice room.


On a similar note, we had toyed with the idea of an online piano partya while back, but it never happened. Interested in revitalizing it?

We could. Might be easier to do on something like on a Discord server even if not on the Pinano Server, or on other voice chat systems like Team Speak and Ventrilo. We could simply make a PW Server on Discord. As usual, there are free options and paid options... Years ago, I set up TeamSpeak and Ventrilo servers for an online gaming group. Doing this is pretty easy.


Take a look at that thread.....zoom really works nicely. Wanted to give it a try one day.


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Chopin 28:15
Tchaikovsky Seasons: October

"You Can Never Have Too Many Dream Pianos" -Thad Carhart
Re: Drop of motivation [Re: CadenzaVvi] #2800065
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Can you enjoy your music without goals and progress? If not, that is the problem. You are enjoying the act of achieving some goal and not the music. It is actually may be more difficult to learn to enjoy one's own creations than achieving some goal but it well worth doing. Just playing pieces and taking exams at the end may just become repetitive, boring, and without meaning. That is why most people end up quitting music lessons.

Re: Drop of motivation [Re: CadenzaVvi] #2800097
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I feel a bit of judgement here.

I take exams because I like it. But I certainly like the music in itself too. I didn't take exam in my first 1,5 year at the piano. I realized that my practice lack some meaning, because I had no opportunity to perform. I also noticed that I was something dismissing some of my teacher comments thinking that it sounded fine anyway and a part of me knew it was wrong and that I should take time to fix things up. I'm also convinced that full-musicianship is important, but I feel like it is harder to take the time by myself to do ear training and sight singing if there is no upcoming exam. Also, the exam gives clear goal so it is easier to focus on a progressive learning in that musicianship, whereas it is easy to feel lost by yourself (this is how I feel at least).

So yes, I can enjoy the music without the goals. I can't enjoy the music without the progress. What motivates me is to see I'm getting better and that I can tackle so beautiful pieces. Pieces don't need to be more challenging. I'm sure that a piece I've played last year, I could get back to it in 10 years and play it more beautifully than I did at my last exam. And this will be because I've improved. I don't see the point of doing music if I can't overcome challenges and get better. When I'll be very good, I might be happy with my level, but right now, I need to get better for music to sound good. And I don't see when I won't be able to improve in an aspect of music playing, considering how rich it is. So I don't see a moment when the need to progress will be a problem regarding staying motivated, since there is always room for progress (and I'm of the school that thinks that with hardwork, almost everything is possible).

So no, I'm not simply enjoying the act of achieving goals. As I've stated, the question of exams particularly arise right now because I have to take a decision before the end of the month about taking them or not this year. And there are some considerations into that (will I be ready? If I don't take them now, will I take them next year? If so, how do I manage my repertoire? If not, how can I fulfil my objectives of meaningness in my practice and stay motivated to do ear training and sight singing? Etc.).
Just playing pieces in my lessons, putting them aside when we consider them to be polish enough, getting a new piece to replace... this is what is becoming, for me, repetitive, boring and without meaning. Why do I practice? Yes, I enjoy the music in itself, but music is made to be shared. With the exams, there are 5 pieces, there is a deadline, there is a performance. There is an objective, there is a meaning.
The meaning could be an annual recital and it would be probably fine too. But my teacher don't have those. So I chose the exam path.

Not all people feel the same about exam and that is perfectly fine. But no, enjoying the music in itself is not the problem for me.
If taking exams is without meaning for someone, then that person shouldn't do exams. In fact, I've never saw exams being pushed upon adults, so I don't really get your point about that.

And I'm not sure about your affirmation that it is what push people out of lessons. I feel like it is more because people realize it is harder than they expected to play music and they are not willing to put the energy. Or because they have other things happening in their life (a lot of teenagers quit music when entering university; probably that some adults stop when they get children or change jobs).


My piano journey from day 1
Started piano on February 2016.
Pieces I'm working on :
- Rameau, Les Sauvages
- (Classical piece TBD)
- Chopin, nocturne op. posth. in C# minor
- Debussy, Golliwog's cakewalk
- Pozzoli, E.R. 427, etude no. 6
Re: Drop of motivation [Re: CadenzaVvi] #2800101
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No judgement from me. I think it's important to enjoy the process, and if exams help with motivation, then go right ahead! I'd like them too, but it's just not in my reality now. But also, the meaning (ie being able to play piano) of making music is important too, and for that purpose, I would suggest that you sometimes just sit and play for enjoyment. It may help to keep a few pieces in your "repertoire", come back to them often enough that you can just play them, for yourself or for friends. This may help fulfill another aspect, keeping it meaningful and enjoyable.

One more thing, learning piano takes a long, long time. At five years I feel like a solid intermediate (quiet, Lieutenant), and still nowhere near advanced. The longer you're at it, the better you get, the more you'll enjoy it! That's my opinion based on my experience; it gets better and better (the enjoyment).


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Re: Drop of motivation [Re: cmb13] #2800107
01/09/19 12:58 PM
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Originally Posted by cmb13
At five years I feel like a solid intermediate (quiet, Lieutenant), and still nowhere near advanced.

What about, "intermediate that plays a lot of advanced pieces?" Does that work for you? wink

BTW, I realize at the heart of this is simply a definitional issue. What is the definition of beginner, intermediate, and advanced? On Reddit, I had someone try to convince me that all pieces that are below the level of virtuosic are beginner pieces. I've been trying to use this myself to measure with.


across the stone, deathless piano performances

"Discipline is more reliable than motivation." -by a contributor on Reddit r/piano
"Success is 10% inspiration, and 90% perspiration." -by some other wise person
Re: Drop of motivation [Re: CadenzaVvi] #2800111
01/09/19 01:14 PM
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Maybe you'll enjoy piano more if you play easier music? And more pieces? My suspicion is that you've hit a wall in terms of difficulty. It's not normal to be playing this kind of repertoire with your limited piano experience.


Private Piano Teacher and MTAC Member
Re: Drop of motivation [Re: CadenzaVvi] #2800119
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Originally Posted by CadenzaVvi

And I'm not sure about your affirmation that it is what push people out of lessons. I feel like it is more because people realize it is harder than they expected to play music and they are not willing to put the energy. Or because they have other things happening in their life (a lot of teenagers quit music when entering university; probably that some adults stop when they get children or change jobs).


Playing music is very easy. Anyone can do it. It's pleasing others (e.g. via exams) that is difficult.

Re: Drop of motivation [Re: Richrf] #2800121
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Originally Posted by Richrf
Playing music is very easy. Anyone can do it. It's pleasing others (e.g. via exams) that is difficult.

...and some people are motivated by difficult things. I took up rock/mountain/ice climbing because it was difficult. I've always preferred difficult over easy. Easy is boring for me.

I don't think it is valid, in general, to question people's underlying motivations. They are what they are. I started to learn piano because of literally one piano piece. I likely will not be able to even approach that piece for seven more years. If I was told I would never be able to play it, I might actually quit piano eventually (not sure). But my motivations, silly as they may be, are mine and mine alone, not anyone else's. It is what it is.

(And I loved exams when I was at the university and can't wait to take my first piano exam. Delicious!)


across the stone, deathless piano performances

"Discipline is more reliable than motivation." -by a contributor on Reddit r/piano
"Success is 10% inspiration, and 90% perspiration." -by some other wise person
Re: Drop of motivation [Re: CadenzaVvi] #2800123
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Okay, I'll bite, what piece is it?


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Tchaikovsky Seasons: October

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Re: Drop of motivation [Re: cmb13] #2800127
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Originally Posted by cmb13
Okay, I'll bite, what piece is it?


November of 2017, I was on Amazon.com shopping for something else and saw a digital piano on the Amazon.com landing page. I thought immediately of the piece above and thought, "wouldn't it be cool to learn to play it?" (OK, it's just what a non piano person might think!) Well, a few minutes of googling, and I ended up ordering a Roland FP30, having maybe touched a piano all of 10 mins total before, in my life. The rest is the rest. smile

(And yes, I thought learning that piece might take a 1-2 years when I ordered the piano - I've since upgraded my estimate to 7 years before I dare even look at the score! LOL)


across the stone, deathless piano performances

"Discipline is more reliable than motivation." -by a contributor on Reddit r/piano
"Success is 10% inspiration, and 90% perspiration." -by some other wise person
Re: Drop of motivation [Re: CadenzaVvi] #2800130
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Good choice (love Lisitsa - saw her live, locally, last year). By the time you complete that piece, you will have had the unintended consequence of having become an excellent pianist, my friend.


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Re: Drop of motivation [Re: Tyrone Slothrop] #2800149
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Originally Posted by Tyrone Slothrop
Originally Posted by Richrf
Playing music is very easy. Anyone can do it. It's pleasing others (e.g. via exams) that is difficult.

...and some people are motivated by difficult things. I took up rock/mountain/ice climbing because it was difficult. I've always preferred difficult over easy. Easy is boring for me.

I don't think it is valid, in general, to question people's underlying motivations. They are what they are. I started to learn piano because of literally one piano piece. I likely will not be able to even approach that piece for seven more years. If I was told I would never be able to play it, I might actually quit piano eventually (not sure). But my motivations, silly as they may be, are mine and mine alone, not anyone else's. It is what it is.

(And I loved exams when I was at the university and can't wait to take my first piano exam. Delicious!)


Read the title of the OP. You're advocating more of the same. I'm suggesting change.

There is a Chinese saying: If you don't change direction, you'll end up where you are heading.

Re: Drop of motivation [Re: AZNpiano] #2800158
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Originally Posted by AZNpiano
Maybe you'll enjoy piano more if you play easier music? And more pieces? My suspicion is that you've hit a wall in terms of difficulty. It's not normal to be playing this kind of repertoire with your limited piano experience.


+1


Lisa

Currently working at RCM grade 5
Kawai UST-9, Yamaha CLP565GP, Kawai KDP110

"Sometimes I can only groan, and suffer, and pour out my despair at the piano!" - Frederic Chopin
Re: Drop of motivation [Re: Animisha] #2800186
01/09/19 04:35 PM
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Originally Posted by Animisha
Originally Posted by CadenzaVvi
-My job being demanding, I'm very tired. Practicing often looks like something too demanding for what is left of my capacity to focus.

This was my situation when I decided to buy a piano, and start learning how to play. Not such a good idea. Now I am at home with a burn-out that seems to never go away.


It can be really hard to combine serious piano study (from the beginning) and a demanding job, because getting somewhere with the piano takes an enourmous amount of concentrated practice unless one happens to be a natural that learns easy and fast. Looking back I wonder how I ever managed for so many years. And I was often stressed about lessons, although I can handle stress quite well. In fact I think I was always more stressed about piano than my job smile

Lately whent I have had a break from lessons and also had a huge extra project at work, I willingly gave up daily practice for almost 3 months. It actually was a good thing, now that the job calmed down and lessons started again I feel very eager to play and practice again. Also I have learned to keep my perfectionism in better control. According to my teacher my playing has not deteriorated, which was my main concern...to loose something that I had worked so hard for. I have lost pieces, but not the skills. And for the first time ever I have now managed to memorize 3 pieces (or parts of them) so that they seem to survive even longer breaks. And this only happened after I reduced my practice drastically...so more is not always better.

Re: Drop of motivation [Re: CadenzaVvi] #2800237
01/09/19 06:16 PM
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CadenzaVvi Offline OP
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Originally Posted by cmb13
No judgement from me.

My answer was directly adressed to Richfr that answered just before I did. wink

Originally Posted by cmb13
But also, the meaning (ie being able to play piano) of making music is important too, and for that purpose, I would suggest that you sometimes just sit and play for enjoyment. It may help to keep a few pieces in your "repertoire", come back to them often enough that you can just play them, for yourself or for friends. This may help fulfill another aspect, keeping it meaningful and enjoyable.

Yeah, I should do this more. I must say this is what I did in my first 2 years of piano, but I’ve got bored to play the same pieces over and over again. I should shift my maintained repertoire to more recent pieces, but the simple fact that I was less on the piano in the past months caused me to have less time to try to maintain my latest pieces. That combined with “I’m sick of my old pieces” cause me to currently have almost no piece I can play just for fun (I can mostly go through some of them, but often have some memory slip, and having the score in front of me is of no help). Maybe I should work on them a little bit to get them back into my fingers (Mozart K545, 1st and 2nd movement and Bach’s invention no 4 shouldn’t be to hard to get back).

Originally Posted by cmb13
One more thing, learning piano takes a long, long time. At five years I feel like a solid intermediate (quiet, Lieutenant), and still nowhere near advanced. The longer you're at it, the better you get, the more you'll enjoy it! That's my opinion based on my experience; it gets better and better (the enjoyment).

I think I’m conscious of that. I’ve told my teacher that I have the ambition to be able to play big repertoire… one day. That I’d like to be able to play like Chopin’s first ballade at one point, but this point can be in 10 years, or even more. There is already a big repertoire available at my current level and that I can enjoy and that could make me progress further until I have the technical abilities to tackle the pieces of my dreams. Until then, I’ll be pretty happy with pieces I like (already my Chopin and my Debussy are two pieces that I love and I’m hoping I’ll be able to do something good with them!).

Originally Posted by Tyrone Slothrop
What is the definition of beginner, intermediate, and advanced? On Reddit, I had someone try to convince me that all pieces that are below the level of virtuosic are beginner pieces. I've been trying to use this myself to measure with.

I think that it doesn’t really matters to have a word to put on our level. Everyone has different standards (so I agree with you with questioning the definition). In my book, the level 10 of RCM correspond to something like late-intermediate / early-advanced at most, because that level only begins to tackle the great repertoire.
And anyway, the question of “how easily you learn pieces of a particular level” matters too. So you can’t simply judge based strictly on what someone plays.
And I don’t mind people having other definitions.

Originally Posted by AZNpiano
Maybe you'll enjoy piano more if you play easier music? And more pieces? My suspicion is that you've hit a wall in terms of difficulty. It's not normal to be playing this kind of repertoire with your limited piano experience.

Maybe. I must say, on that level, I kind of trust my teacher too. I specifically asked him in August if he thought it was a good idea to go for my level 8 this year or if we should instead work on easier pieces to work on some technical aspects I don’t master. And he told me that level 8 was a good plan.
I’ve always been surprised about the mentality of playing a lot of pieces in a year (like the 40-pieces a year idea). I’ve always been practicing more like 6-10 pieces a year and that pacing seemed good to me. I don’t mind having to work 9 months on a piece to perfect it. But, in the past, since I was practicing 2,5 hours a day, on average, I could split my practice time between 3-4 pieces (I was usually practicing about 4 pieces at once so I can vary things up in my long sittings at the piano). With shorter sittings, 1 or 2 pieces is enough (hence why I don’t think I can manage to be ready for a full exam this Spring). I don’t really mind that. What cause me frustration is that I know that, because I’m practicing way less than before, I’m not making much progress. I go to my lessons feeling I haven’t practice enough, that things haven’t improved since the previous week. And I know things wouldn’t be that way if I was practicing like I used too.
Also, to be noted that I had musical experience prior to my beginnings at the piano, that could explain why I’m tackling that kind of repertoire after only 3 years.
I’m not the pro here, so I’m willing to say it is still maybe too fast. But I don’t know. And I hope that my teacher is the best to tell, since he is the one who listens to me on a weekly basis. I hope he knows what is right for my level of mastery.

Originally Posted by Richrf
Playing music is very easy. Anyone can do it. It's pleasing others (e.g. via exams) that is difficult.

Making noise is easy. Playing music is hard. Other people are easier pleased with my music than myself. So, for me, it’s not true. It might be true for you, but this is not how I feel.

Originally Posted by Richrf
Read the title of the OP. You're advocating more of the same. I'm suggesting change.

Well, yeah, but I’m explaining that drop of motivation because of tiredness more than problems with the piano itself. At the piano, I feel in a vicious circle because being less motivated = practicing less = progressing less = being less motivated. So I’m trying to break that circle by getting back on the piano.
Also, I did say in my first message
Originally Posted by CadenzaVvi
I'm not really hoping anything by posting that here, but it is kind of a relief to share that with people that will probably understand what I'm going through, because it is not the kind of things my friends and family quite get, sadly. So just thank you to be here!

I know ups and downs are part of the process. I know that I’m not the first nor the last to go through them. So I try, first, not to worry to much about it and, second, to bring myself to the piano on a daily basis to push myself in the good direction (opposite to that vicious circle I was talking about).
Currently, my thoughts can often be summed up with this picture. I know this is impossible, so since I want the goal (as stated earlier in this post, I have the ambition, one day, to be able to play advanced repertoire, like Chopin’s ballades), I’m pushing myself in the means to achieve it. I feel like Thyrone and myself are at the same page on that point.
Difficulties make the results even more satisfying!


My piano journey from day 1
Started piano on February 2016.
Pieces I'm working on :
- Rameau, Les Sauvages
- (Classical piece TBD)
- Chopin, nocturne op. posth. in C# minor
- Debussy, Golliwog's cakewalk
- Pozzoli, E.R. 427, etude no. 6
Re: Drop of motivation [Re: CadenzaVvi] #2800251
01/09/19 07:00 PM
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I've just realized that I could put that simply: the exams are not the reason I'm less motivated. It's the fact that I'm less motivated that makes the exams project less feasible.

-

Outo, I didn't see your post before I posted mine.
Part of the challenge is to find the right balance, but thanks for sharing your experience. It puts things into perspective.

I recently realized that using my time for some activities was less fulfiling than piano. That will probably be an incentive to priorize things more carefully to give piano the place it deserves for my well-being.


My piano journey from day 1
Started piano on February 2016.
Pieces I'm working on :
- Rameau, Les Sauvages
- (Classical piece TBD)
- Chopin, nocturne op. posth. in C# minor
- Debussy, Golliwog's cakewalk
- Pozzoli, E.R. 427, etude no. 6
Re: Drop of motivation [Re: CadenzaVvi] #2800254
01/09/19 07:05 PM
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Originally Posted by CadenzaVvi
Originally Posted by cmb13
No judgement from me.

My answer was directly adressed to Richfr that answered just before I did. wink

Originally Posted by cmb13
But also, the meaning (ie being able to play piano) of making music is important too, and for that purpose, I would suggest that you sometimes just sit and play for enjoyment. It may help to keep a few pieces in your "repertoire", come back to them often enough that you can just play them, for yourself or for friends. This may help fulfill another aspect, keeping it meaningful and enjoyable.

Yeah, I should do this more. I must say this is what I did in my first 2 years of piano, but I’ve got bored to play the same pieces over and over again. I should shift my maintained repertoire to more recent pieces, but the simple fact that I was less on the piano in the past months caused me to have less time to try to maintain my latest pieces. That combined with “I’m sick of my old pieces” cause me to currently have almost no piece I can play just for fun (I can mostly go through some of them, but often have some memory slip, and having the score in front of me is of no help). Maybe I should work on them a little bit to get them back into my fingers (Mozart K545, 1st and 2nd movement and Bach’s invention no 4 shouldn’t be to hard to get back).

Originally Posted by cmb13
One more thing, learning piano takes a long, long time. At five years I feel like a solid intermediate (quiet, Lieutenant), and still nowhere near advanced. The longer you're at it, the better you get, the more you'll enjoy it! That's my opinion based on my experience; it gets better and better (the enjoyment).

I think I’m conscious of that. I’ve told my teacher that I have the ambition to be able to play big repertoire… one day. That I’d like to be able to play like Chopin’s first ballade at one point, but this point can be in 10 years, or even more. There is already a big repertoire available at my current level and that I can enjoy and that could make me progress further until I have the technical abilities to tackle the pieces of my dreams. Until then, I’ll be pretty happy with pieces I like (already my Chopin and my Debussy are two pieces that I love and I’m hoping I’ll be able to do something good with them!).

Originally Posted by Tyrone Slothrop
What is the definition of beginner, intermediate, and advanced? On Reddit, I had someone try to convince me that all pieces that are below the level of virtuosic are beginner pieces. I've been trying to use this myself to measure with.

I think that it doesn’t really matters to have a word to put on our level. Everyone has different standards (so I agree with you with questioning the definition). In my book, the level 10 of RCM correspond to something like late-intermediate / early-advanced at most, because that level only begins to tackle the great repertoire.
And anyway, the question of “how easily you learn pieces of a particular level” matters too. So you can’t simply judge based strictly on what someone plays.
And I don’t mind people having other definitions.

Originally Posted by AZNpiano
Maybe you'll enjoy piano more if you play easier music? And more pieces? My suspicion is that you've hit a wall in terms of difficulty. It's not normal to be playing this kind of repertoire with your limited piano experience.

Maybe. I must say, on that level, I kind of trust my teacher too. I specifically asked him in August if he thought it was a good idea to go for my level 8 this year or if we should instead work on easier pieces to work on some technical aspects I don’t master. And he told me that level 8 was a good plan.
I’ve always been surprised about the mentality of playing a lot of pieces in a year (like the 40-pieces a year idea). I’ve always been practicing more like 6-10 pieces a year and that pacing seemed good to me. I don’t mind having to work 9 months on a piece to perfect it. But, in the past, since I was practicing 2,5 hours a day, on average, I could split my practice time between 3-4 pieces (I was usually practicing about 4 pieces at once so I can vary things up in my long sittings at the piano). With shorter sittings, 1 or 2 pieces is enough (hence why I don’t think I can manage to be ready for a full exam this Spring). I don’t really mind that. What cause me frustration is that I know that, because I’m practicing way less than before, I’m not making much progress. I go to my lessons feeling I haven’t practice enough, that things haven’t improved since the previous week. And I know things wouldn’t be that way if I was practicing like I used too.
Also, to be noted that I had musical experience prior to my beginnings at the piano, that could explain why I’m tackling that kind of repertoire after only 3 years.
I’m not the pro here, so I’m willing to say it is still maybe too fast. But I don’t know. And I hope that my teacher is the best to tell, since he is the one who listens to me on a weekly basis. I hope he knows what is right for my level of mastery.

Originally Posted by Richrf
Playing music is very easy. Anyone can do it. It's pleasing others (e.g. via exams) that is difficult.

Making noise is easy. Playing music is hard. Other people are easier pleased with my music than myself. So, for me, it’s not true. It might be true for you, but this is not how I feel.

Originally Posted by Richrf
Read the title of the OP. You're advocating more of the same. I'm suggesting change.

Well, yeah, but I’m explaining that drop of motivation because of tiredness more than problems with the piano itself. At the piano, I feel in a vicious circle because being less motivated = practicing less = progressing less = being less motivated. So I’m trying to break that circle by getting back on the piano.
Also, I did say in my first message
Originally Posted by CadenzaVvi
I'm not really hoping anything by posting that here, but it is kind of a relief to share that with people that will probably understand what I'm going through, because it is not the kind of things my friends and family quite get, sadly. So just thank you to be here!

I know ups and downs are part of the process. I know that I’m not the first nor the last to go through them. So I try, first, not to worry to much about it and, second, to bring myself to the piano on a daily basis to push myself in the good direction (opposite to that vicious circle I was talking about).
Currently, my thoughts can often be summed up with this picture. I know this is impossible, so since I want the goal (as stated earlier in this post, I have the ambition, one day, to be able to play advanced repertoire, like Chopin’s ballades), I’m pushing myself in the means to achieve it. I feel like Thyrone and myself are at the same page on that point.
Difficulties make the results even more satisfying!




If you know what the problems are and do not wish to change, then you will end up where you are heading, difficulties and all, which apparently you are OK with. That's fine.

Alternatively, if you play what you want when you want, without judgement (by teachers or exams), piano practice pretty much becomes effortless. But this is not the path you desire so it is what it is.

Re: Drop of motivation [Re: CadenzaVvi] #2800256
01/09/19 07:10 PM
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Originally Posted by CadenzaVvi
one day, to be able to play advanced repertoire, like Chopin’s ballades

Your Ballades is like my La Campanella! All I have to add to this point is, thank goodness for goals as otherwise the world would be a much duller place for some of us!

Originally Posted by CadenzaVvi
I feel like Thyrone and myself are at the same page on that point.
Difficulties make the results even more satisfying!

Woot! thumb

Originally Posted by CadenzaVvi
I recently realized that using my time for some activities was less fulfiling than piano. That will probably be an incentive to priorize things more carefully to give piano the place it deserves for my well-being.

I think I know exactly what you mean! A friend of mine gave me a Playstation VR set for Christmas since he knows I'm not susceptible to motion sickness. A year ago, I would have broken these out and already put 50 hours on them by now, two+ weeks after I was gifted. Now, I'm trying to figure out how to show my friend my appreciation for a rather expensive gift which I have not even opened yet because it would be a distraction from piano wink


across the stone, deathless piano performances

"Discipline is more reliable than motivation." -by a contributor on Reddit r/piano
"Success is 10% inspiration, and 90% perspiration." -by some other wise person
Re: Drop of motivation [Re: CadenzaVvi] #2800259
01/09/19 07:18 PM
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@Richrf (adding this line since Thyrone posted while I was writing this)
I think we simply don't see piano practice the same way. The exams are not the problem, are not the cause of my lack of motivation, and not doing exams doesn't make piano practice effortless for me.

I feel like you transpose what you are experiencing at the piano on me, but I'm not experiencing the same, so it doesn't connect to me.

Taking exams or not won't change my motivation. So I don't see how it should solve my problem.


You quoted my entire post, so I'm not sure exactly to which parts you are referring as "knowing the problem" and "not wanting to change".
Because you continue to point out the problem as being the exams, whereas it's not what I'm saying and it's not how I feel about them.

Last edited by CadenzaVvi; 01/09/19 07:20 PM.

My piano journey from day 1
Started piano on February 2016.
Pieces I'm working on :
- Rameau, Les Sauvages
- (Classical piece TBD)
- Chopin, nocturne op. posth. in C# minor
- Debussy, Golliwog's cakewalk
- Pozzoli, E.R. 427, etude no. 6
Re: Drop of motivation [Re: CadenzaVvi] #2800262
01/09/19 07:32 PM
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@Thyrone
Yup, exactly like that. Less series and gaming during the week. If I'm too tired to play the piano, maybe I should simply go to bed (I never want to go to bed at 7pm even though I can be pretty tired. I feel like I'm wasting my evening. But listening to series is another way of wasting an evening... and I haven't thought of it this way before yesterday. That should changes things up a bit).


My piano journey from day 1
Started piano on February 2016.
Pieces I'm working on :
- Rameau, Les Sauvages
- (Classical piece TBD)
- Chopin, nocturne op. posth. in C# minor
- Debussy, Golliwog's cakewalk
- Pozzoli, E.R. 427, etude no. 6
Re: Drop of motivation [Re: CadenzaVvi] #2800264
01/09/19 07:35 PM
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Originally Posted by CadenzaVvi
I feel like you transpose what you are experiencing at the piano on me, but I'm not experiencing the same, so it doesn't connect to me.

100% agree! We seem to live in a world, and some of us in a specific country, where it seems increasingly hard for people to understand and empathize with the perspective of others. To take a perspective is to be able to look at things from a point of view other than our own, and it brings in the mindfulness of compassion and empathy to our relationships. Perspective taking starts with the realization that people are not all just clones of oneself. That what is true for oneself may not be true for another person. What is best for the self might not be best for someone else.


across the stone, deathless piano performances

"Discipline is more reliable than motivation." -by a contributor on Reddit r/piano
"Success is 10% inspiration, and 90% perspiration." -by some other wise person
Re: Drop of motivation [Re: CadenzaVvi] #2800283
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From the look at the video page you seem to have progressed very quickly.

I noticed myself that K454 is quite nice to play. It is classical piece, arpeggio and scale based. There are nice patterns. It is quite easy to understand the music. You seem to have managed this. I myself found the 1st part very dull after I could play. The Rondo is a bit more interesting. The second movement is my favouriate.

You need to however bear in mind there is however a leap between this and Chopin Nocturne C sharp minor, which is more complex in patterns. To get the soft touch is hard. Golliwog's Cakewalk similarly is much harder when you have no experience. The light / spritely / dancing on keys feel you dont get in many pieces.

So I again think some of this is due to this push to progress. You perhaps are pushing too quickly. Your piece choices are quite a lot harder. Perhaps there is a natural frustration when we practice a long time and dont get there.

I would suggest you think about the piece choice. After K454 I personally would have tried to go from K454, to something like this below (which light but more scale based?)



And before struggling again with Chopin C sharp minor, which I might add every one does!, consider some alternative Chopin's. Some Chopin sound as hard but the score is very nice. If you get the Chopin touch from previous pieces, it is not nearly so hard to pick up.



I think it is a balance between picking hard and easy pieces. I try to get my teacher opinion more now on choices to avoid this as its much easier to judge when you have played something. But to jump from one level to a higher level without the intermediate pieces you can get this struggling / drop of motivation. I expect we all go through this so its all quite normal.

Bon courage !


Last edited by Moo :); 01/09/19 08:20 PM.
Re: Drop of motivation [Re: CadenzaVvi] #2800310
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Originally Posted by CadenzaVvi
@Thyrone
Yup, exactly like that. Less series and gaming during the week. If I'm too tired to play the piano, maybe I should simply go to bed (I never want to go to bed at 7pm even though I can be pretty tired. I feel like I'm wasting my evening. But listening to series is another way of wasting an evening... and I haven't thought of it this way before yesterday. That should changes things up a bit).


I assume you already know that without enough sleep efficient learning is not happening. When I found it difficult to practice after long days at work I taught myself to go to bed early and got up earlier to practice every morning. It wasn't easy, I have always been a late night person. But sleeping too little was also not an option because I could not handle the responsibilities at work without enough sleep. It took weeks to get used to it but it can be done. And those morning practices probably saved my playing at some point...

Re: Drop of motivation [Re: CadenzaVvi] #2800321
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Originally Posted by CadenzaVvi
@Richrf (adding this line since Thyrone posted while I was writing this)
I think we simply don't see piano practice the same way. The exams are not the problem, are not the cause of my lack of motivation, and not doing exams doesn't make piano practice effortless for me.

I feel like you transpose what you are experiencing at the piano on me, but I'm not experiencing the same, so it doesn't connect to me.

Taking exams or not won't change my motivation. So I don't see how it should solve my problem.


You quoted my entire post, so I'm not sure exactly to which parts you are referring as "knowing the problem" and "not wanting to change".
Because you continue to point out the problem as being the exams, whereas it's not what I'm saying and it's not how I feel about them.


You are correct. Totally different experiences. I am never lacking motivation, because no motivation is needed. I play music when I feel like it and I don't when I don't feel like it. No problems because no goals.

Re: Drop of motivation [Re: Tyrone Slothrop] #2800324
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Originally Posted by Tyrone Slothrop
Originally Posted by CadenzaVvi
I feel like you transpose what you are experiencing at the piano on me, but I'm not experiencing the same, so it doesn't connect to me.

100% agree! We seem to live in a world, and some of us in a specific country, where it seems increasingly hard for people to understand and empathize with the perspective of others. To take a perspective is to be able to look at things from a point of view other than our own, and it brings in the mindfulness of compassion and empathy to our relationships. Perspective taking starts with the realization that people are not all just clones of oneself. That what is true for oneself may not be true for another person. What is best for the self might not be best for someone else.


You're wrong. I totally understand those who need to take exams to be motivated. Perspective needs to be changed, but if you wish to maintain your perspective them you'll have to deal with the problems caused by the perspective. You can't have your cake and eat it. But if one wishes to maintain the same path, that's fine. The music industry is riddled with casualties of its methods. I believe most students quit within a couple of years. People only maintain hobbies that they enjoy.

Re: Drop of motivation [Re: Richrf] #2800326
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Originally Posted by Richrf
Originally Posted by Tyrone Slothrop
Originally Posted by CadenzaVvi
I feel like you transpose what you are experiencing at the piano on me, but I'm not experiencing the same, so it doesn't connect to me.

100% agree! We seem to live in a world, and some of us in a specific country, where it seems increasingly hard for people to understand and empathize with the perspective of others. To take a perspective is to be able to look at things from a point of view other than our own, and it brings in the mindfulness of compassion and empathy to our relationships. Perspective taking starts with the realization that people are not all just clones of oneself. That what is true for oneself may not be true for another person. What is best for the self might not be best for someone else.


You're wrong. I totally understand those who need to take exams to be motivated. Perspective needs to be changed, but if you wish to maintain your perspective them you'll have to deal with the problems caused by the perspective. You can't have your cake and eat it. But if one wishes to maintain the same path, that's fine. The music industry is riddled with casualties of its methods. I believe most students quit within a couple of years. People only maintain hobbies that they enjoy.


But it is quite obvious that people enjoy different things within the same hobbies. Some people enjoy solving problems and even hardship whether caused by themselves or not. The occasional drop of motivation can reflect one's personality as much as the chosen path. I have noticed that every time I achieve something big, I easily enter a state of lazyness and the longer I let myself stay in it, the less motivation I have to get back into the activity. It makes no difference whether the activity itself is enjoyable. I just happen to enjoy doing nothing as much smile

Re: Drop of motivation [Re: outo] #2800330
01/09/19 11:35 PM
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Originally Posted by outo
But it is quite obvious that people enjoy different things within the same hobbies. Some people enjoy solving problems and even hardship whether caused by themselves or not. The occasional drop of motivation can reflect one's personality as much as the chosen path. I have noticed that every time I achieve something big, I easily enter a state of lazyness and the longer I let myself stay in it, the less motivation I have to get back into the activity. It makes no difference whether the activity itself is enjoyable. I just happen to enjoy doing nothing as much smile

I agree as there is always an opportunity cost for every activity we engage in. When I'm playing piano, then this carves away at the time I have to play video games, read, watch an opera. If I play video games, this carves away at the time I have for piano, reading, etc. If I read boring "easy" books that don't make me think or hold my interest, I lose interest and rather play the piano or play a video game - Reading, in this case, has a higher cost than the alternatives. If I am not challenged at piano, I get bored and rather play a video game - piano then has the higher cost. The idea that one should be able to enjoy an activity even if one changes one's goals and approach in that activity doesn't take into account that in the modern world, we always have alternatives for almost every activity we do for recreation or pleasure. While I am changing my goals and approach for one activity, the costs of the others don't change, and one of the alternatives may suddenly become more attractive than the present activity.

I know some people, including my spouse, are different than this, but this is how I have been wired and this is how I work. If I don't get a charge out of what I am doing, I will likely go do something else that I get a charge out of...


across the stone, deathless piano performances

"Discipline is more reliable than motivation." -by a contributor on Reddit r/piano
"Success is 10% inspiration, and 90% perspiration." -by some other wise person
Re: Drop of motivation [Re: CadenzaVvi] #2800338
01/10/19 12:13 AM
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Ok, in order laugh.

@Moo

That might be true. One thing that amuses me is that the Chopin's waltz you posted is actually ranked level 9 in the ranking system of my exam, whereas the C#m nocturne is ranked level 8. We all know ranking is subjective to some point, so that doesn't surprise me. But I'm not sure that this waltz is really easier than the nocturne. wink
For now (like today, short term), I don't feel like changing my repertoire (except the Beethoven's that I haven't started yet) BUT it is clear in my mind that, if I do my level 8 exam this year, I won't take my level 9 next year and take some more time to practice things between level 6 and 8 (probably). I had some vacation, I'm a little bit more rested than 2 months ago, I'm hoping that will allow me to go back, to some extend, to my previous practice routine and be able to do something good with those pieces. If that doesn't happen, I'll see with my teacher what is the best course of action.

@outo

Yes I know. It is like the difference between knowing exercice is good for your health and actually exercice... I know. I now have to act accordingly. As far as I can remember, I've always been a night owl, so it is hard to change. But that realization (watching TV is not a fulfilling activity) will help me go in the right direction to refrain myself from losing my time when I could go get some well needed sleep.

@Richrf

I have the impression you still don't understand. I don't need exams to be motivated.
But overall, my relation to the piano is very different than yours.
And what you suggest (that I change my "perspective") is in fact asking that I change the elements that bring me to the piano in the first place.

It's like I was eating a fruit salad and told you I was disappointed because there was no pineapple and that I love pineapple, and you'd answer me I should try to prefer cherries instead. I like cherries, but I prefer pineapple, and I can't try to prefer something else. This is what I like.
It is okay if one day, my taste changes and that I come to like cherries more. This day, I will act accordingly, putting more cherries in my fruit salad if I make one (or stop taking exams, to go out of this comparison). But for now, I will put pineapple over cherries (or will prefer pursuing concrete goals). That's okay. My tastes have changed in the past and they surely will change in the future. But right now, they are what they are and I don't see why I should prefer other things.

@outo

I know that feeling. smile
Often in the past, I had evenings where I had no motivation for the piano and, if I had simply listen to myself, would have done nothing worthy of my time. But I forced myself on my bench... only to realize I was still there 2 hours later.
And this is part of the reason I think I should continue pushing myself. The work is not always fun on the short term, but I've always enjoyed the results. And for more results (and satisfaction), I need to put more work (I mean... not like "I should play more every day" but like "I should continue practicing so I continue making progress"). I'll be so happy when I'll be able to play that Nocturne, that Debussy, that... when I'll have overcome some more challenges. Then new challenges will seem possible to overcome as well and I'll continue my progress. I think it never ends, which is a good thing.

I've once read, and I love that sentence: The human perfection is to always be able to perfect himself. (loose translation; in French, it goes this way : La perfection de l'homme tient à sa perfectibilité.)
We often say that the human can't be perfect. I agree. But it is beautiful to see that we can always become a better person, we can always improve.


My piano journey from day 1
Started piano on February 2016.
Pieces I'm working on :
- Rameau, Les Sauvages
- (Classical piece TBD)
- Chopin, nocturne op. posth. in C# minor
- Debussy, Golliwog's cakewalk
- Pozzoli, E.R. 427, etude no. 6
Re: Drop of motivation [Re: CadenzaVvi] #2800444
01/10/19 10:21 AM
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First off …. I have not read through this entire thread so if I repeat what someone else already suggested …. sorry, my bad.

I would suggest you change your focus from your RATE OF PROGRESS to letting progress happen naturally.

How does that work ?

Well …. play things that you enjoy playing as a means of solidifying the skills you are developing.

And then, periodically work on something that is just a tiny bit challenging (not overwhelming).

And work on it a tiny bit each day and then go back to the music you can play.

In other words …. try to relax and enjoy your time at the piano.

If you are not looking forward to your time at the piano, it is because you have made a "chore" out of it. Stop doing that.

You do not have to become a great pianist.

Good Luck


Don

Kawai MP11SE, Focal CMS 40 Powered Monitors, SennHeiser HD 559 Headphones, Pianoteq and numerous other VSTs
Re: Drop of motivation [Re: CadenzaVvi] #2800445
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Hi CadenzaVi, I understand very well that exams are important to you as an opportunity to share the music you are working on, among other things (such as providing structure, motivation, etc.). I can see how just working on pieces without any performance goals can become discouraging (I personally feel the same, although I did have a stage in my piano studies when I was perfectly happy with just working on some pieces, taking them to a decent level, and moving on). It's too bad your teacher doesn't do recitals, so I would suggest looking for some additional performance opportunities (not to replace the exams but to broaden your options)--such as a local piano club, piano parties, etc. This way you can perform your favorite pieces more than once and also hopefully find a community of like-minded adult amateurs (outside the online forum). You might check out the "meetup" groups online and see if something is happening in your area or just ask around (your teacher might know other interested adults). This can really boost your motivation and also help you with the exams. The more you play for people in different settings, on different pianos, etc., the better you'll deal with the stress of performing at the exams. Besides, it's nice to be able to play for people without being formally evaluated at the same time. This is just a suggestion based on my own experience. Bonne chance!

Re: Drop of motivation [Re: outo] #2800465
01/10/19 11:15 AM
01/10/19 11:15 AM
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Originally Posted by outo
Originally Posted by Richrf
Originally Posted by Tyrone Slothrop
Originally Posted by CadenzaVvi
I feel like you transpose what you are experiencing at the piano on me, but I'm not experiencing the same, so it doesn't connect to me.

100% agree! We seem to live in a world, and some of us in a specific country, where it seems increasingly hard for people to understand and empathize with the perspective of others. To take a perspective is to be able to look at things from a point of view other than our own, and it brings in the mindfulness of compassion and empathy to our relationships. Perspective taking starts with the realization that people are not all just clones of oneself. That what is true for oneself may not be true for another person. What is best for the self might not be best for someone else.


You're wrong. I totally understand those who need to take exams to be motivated. Perspective needs to be changed, but if you wish to maintain your perspective them you'll have to deal with the problems caused by the perspective. You can't have your cake and eat it. But if one wishes to maintain the same path, that's fine. The music industry is riddled with casualties of its methods. I believe most students quit within a couple of years. People only maintain hobbies that they enjoy.


But it is quite obvious that people enjoy different things within the same hobbies. Some people enjoy solving problems and even hardship whether caused by themselves or not. The occasional drop of motivation can reflect one's personality as much as the chosen path. I have noticed that every time I achieve something big, I easily enter a state of lazyness and the longer I let myself stay in it, the less motivation I have to get back into the activity. It makes no difference whether the activity itself is enjoyable. I just happen to enjoy doing nothing as much smile


The problem is exactly as the OP described it. Exams are the motivation. There is a drop in motivation (in exams). I understand. Exams, after a while get boring. My suggestion is use the creation of music as a motivation.

There are many, many casualties of the music industry's methods, where people are taught exams as goals as opposed to just enjoying the music.

My friend's son studied piano his whole life to get into Oberlin Conservatory. He was accepted with a full scholarship. After his first semester he quit and switched to another school to learn computer programming. He had achieved his goal and that was that. He lost all motivation because Oberlin was his goal not the music. True story.

Last edited by Richrf; 01/10/19 11:18 AM.
Re: Drop of motivation [Re: Richrf] #2800494
01/10/19 12:14 PM
01/10/19 12:14 PM
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Finland
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Originally Posted by Richrf

The problem is exactly as the OP described it. Exams are the motivation. There is a drop in motivation (in exams). I understand. Exams, after a while get boring. My suggestion is use the creation of music as a motivation.

There are many, many casualties of the music industry's methods, where people are taught exams as goals as opposed to just enjoying the music.


No doubt, but I have also seen cases where trying to enjoy music only led into learning almost nothing and so the enjoyment was very limited and ultimately became boring as well.

I am all for balance and flexibility according to one's own wants and needs. I do not share the belief that results are only possible by going through a set route and having to endure things you have no interest for. Never did that and I think I can play the piano to some satisfaction. But I also do not think that going by feeling and creativity alone will work with an average student. My personal way has been a mixture of creativity and personal ways in working methods and discipline and structure in applying them. I do not think this would be for everyone either. Much of my enjoyment comes from discovery through trial and error, it's fun to see what works and what not and the see where things can be applied...

Re: Drop of motivation [Re: outo] #2800499
01/10/19 12:24 PM
01/10/19 12:24 PM
Joined: Apr 2018
Posts: 3,131
Tyrone Slothrop Online content
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Originally Posted by outo
I do not share the belief that results are only possible by going through a set route and having to endure things you have no interest for. Never did that and I think I can play the piano to some satisfaction. But I also do not think that going by feeling and creativity alone will work with an average student. My personal way has been a mixture of creativity and personal ways in working methods and discipline and structure in applying them. I do not think this would be for everyone either. Much of my enjoyment comes from discovery through trial and error, it's fun to see what works and what not and the see where things can be applied...

Complete agree. We all have our own goes and nongoals (I am thinking of the "unschooling" movement now) and what works and is brilliant for one is a complete dud for another. I've had a friend try to teach me meditation because he thought that would help me. It does not. It makes me more anxious. We don't live in a one-size-fits-all world and I absolutely do not agree that there is a single "shining path" to happiness/fulfillment.


across the stone, deathless piano performances

"Discipline is more reliable than motivation." -by a contributor on Reddit r/piano
"Success is 10% inspiration, and 90% perspiration." -by some other wise person
Re: Drop of motivation [Re: outo] #2800519
01/10/19 12:51 PM
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Originally Posted by outo
Originally Posted by Richrf

The problem is exactly as the OP described it. Exams are the motivation. There is a drop in motivation (in exams). I understand. Exams, after a while get boring. My suggestion is use the creation of music as a motivation.

There are many, many casualties of the music industry's methods, where people are taught exams as goals as opposed to just enjoying the music.


No doubt, but I have also seen cases where trying to enjoy music only led into learning almost nothing and so the enjoyment was very limited and ultimately became boring as well.
.


Every time the body touches the instrument it is learning something new - touch, hearing, taste, etc. However, the mind may become bored and then the search for a new taste begins. I am constantly moving from one hobby too another and from each I learn something new which teaches me something new about all my hobbies and life in general. Ultimately it is all about experimentation, creativity, and evolution of the mind. The trick is to maintain movement and not to get stuck.

Re: Drop of motivation [Re: Richrf] #2800529
01/10/19 01:21 PM
01/10/19 01:21 PM
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Originally Posted by Richrf
I am constantly moving from one hobby too another and from each I learn something new which teaches me something new about all my hobbies and life in general.


That is because you have not established any level of competence you wish to reach in any of those hobbies. You are happy just experiencing things and when you no longer are interested in a particular area you move on.

That is fine. You are happy with that and will probably continue with that style as long as it stimulates and satisfies you. Nothng wrong with that, in fact, there is a lot RIGHT about that.

I have a different goal. I wish to be able to play jazz standards (ballads) with a chorus of improvisation mixed in. So, my time at the piano is spent with improving skills that seem to be a part of that type of playing. Not all my time is on that. I sometimes pick a classical piece and work with that for a bit ...not to perfection but until I tire of the effort. Then back to jazz standard type things.

Now, through all of this …. there is no sense of urgency. I get as far as I get with no timetable. So, I do not need to "work hard" to make faster progress. I do not need to make a chore of my time at the piano. There is no hurry. If I never play a jazz standard from beginning to end with a chorus of improv, it does not matter. The joy is in the daily effort and feeling the sense of improvement here and there. NO HURRY !!!


Now, on the other hand ….. If one wishes to reach a certain level of competence with some particular type of music within a certain time period …. then, that method will probably not work. Then, you probably will need to follow some time-tested method of getting there and your time at the piano will not be as carefree. You need to reach a particular level of competency in order to reach your goal and that will include doing things at the piano that (at times) will be …. let's say …. less than enjoyable. Unfortunately, that is the price you pay for the goal you have set.

You make the choice. You set the goal.


Don

Kawai MP11SE, Focal CMS 40 Powered Monitors, SennHeiser HD 559 Headphones, Pianoteq and numerous other VSTs
Re: Drop of motivation [Re: dmd] #2800570
01/10/19 03:30 PM
01/10/19 03:30 PM
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Originally Posted by dmd
Originally Posted by Richrf
I am constantly moving from one hobby too another and from each I learn something new which teaches me something new about all my hobbies and life in general.


That is because you have not established any level of competence you wish to reach in any of those hobbies. You are happy just experiencing things and when you no longer are interested in a particular area you move on.

That is fine. You are happy with that and will probably continue with that style as long as it stimulates and satisfies you. Nothng wrong with that, in fact, there is a lot RIGHT about that.

I have a different goal. I wish to be able to play jazz standards (ballads) with a chorus of improvisation mixed in. So, my time at the piano is spent with improving skills that seem to be a part of that type of playing. Not all my time is on that. I sometimes pick a classical piece and work with that for a bit ...not to perfection but until I tire of the effort. Then back to jazz standard type things.

Now, through all of this …. there is no sense of urgency. I get as far as I get with no timetable. So, I do not need to "work hard" to make faster progress. I do not need to make a chore of my time at the piano. There is no hurry. If I never play a jazz standard from beginning to end with a chorus of improv, it does not matter. The joy is in the daily effort and feeling the sense of improvement here and there. NO HURRY !!!


Now, on the other hand ….. If one wishes to reach a certain level of competence with some particular type of music within a certain time period …. then, that method will probably not work. Then, you probably will need to follow some time-tested method of getting there and your time at the piano will not be as carefree. You need to reach a particular level of competency in order to reach your goal and that will include doing things at the piano that (at times) will be …. let's say …. less than enjoyable. Unfortunately, that is the price you pay for the goal you have set.

You make the choice. You set the goal.


How do you know that he hasn't reached any level of competence? That is such a unsound statement.


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Re: Drop of motivation [Re: NobleHouse] #2800586
01/10/19 04:17 PM
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Originally Posted by NobleHouse
How do you know that he hasn't reached any level of competence? That is such a unsound statement.


Where did I say "hasn't reached" any level of confidence ?

If you check you will see that I said "hasn't established" (i.e. SET) any level of competence.


I could be wrong about that …. but I doubt it, judging by his willingness to just meander from hobby to hobby as his interest wanes.


Now, if that is something you wish to argue about. Have at it.


Doesn't matter to me one way or another it he has or has not established a level of competence.

It just seemed apparent, to me.

So, I said it.

If it is important to you to determine whether I am right or not, ask Rich.


Don

Kawai MP11SE, Focal CMS 40 Powered Monitors, SennHeiser HD 559 Headphones, Pianoteq and numerous other VSTs
Re: Drop of motivation [Re: dmd] #2800630
01/10/19 06:00 PM
01/10/19 06:00 PM
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Originally Posted by dmd
Originally Posted by NobleHouse
How do you know that he hasn't reached any level of competence? That is such a unsound statement.


Where did I say "hasn't reached" any level of confidence ?

If you check you will see that I said "hasn't established" (i.e. SET) any level of competence.


I could be wrong about that …. but I doubt it, judging by his willingness to just meander from hobby to hobby as his interest wanes.


Now, if that is something you wish to argue about. Have at it.


Doesn't matter to me one way or another it he has or has not established a level of competence.

It just seemed apparent, to me.

So, I said it.

If it is important to you to determine whether I am right or not, ask Rich.




We all have a lot to learn.

As for my "level of competence", I have no idea what that absurd concept means, but what I can say without hesitation and with 100% confidence is that I enjoy to no end every moment I spend at the piano and the music I create.

Re: Drop of motivation [Re: CadenzaVvi] #2800636
01/10/19 06:18 PM
01/10/19 06:18 PM
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Owen Sound, Ontario
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You've gone further, faster then most people. Cut yourself some slack.

There is something concerning about your music having no meaning unless you can perform it for someone else to appreciate. Also, statements like ... I'll be happy when ...

Change in routine isn't the answer, but a change in perspective is needed. When no longer looking for anything other then right now or our ideal place to be, we can be happy and at ease with what we've got. All of it. Not just the good, but all of it. Happiness is a state of mind that can only happen in the present. Conquering another Nocturne is no solution.

Re: Drop of motivation [Re: CadenzaVvi] #2800717
01/10/19 11:43 PM
01/10/19 11:43 PM
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Posts: 323
Quebec city, QC
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Well, saying that "music has no meaning if I can't perform" might be an overstatement, but I felt like something was missing in my first 1,5 year at the piano, and that something was the option to play for others. Art is made to be shared. It is not vain in itself, but it is so much more when you can share it. Why write a book if not to be read by someone? Why paint a painting if no to be seen by anyone? Why to play music if not to be heard by anyone?

I know not all people feel the need to play for others. I know the anxiety and all the stuff. But for me, just practicing for myself is not enough. On the long run, even though I enjoy it, there is something missing. And I feel like it should be understandable.
There are loads of writers, painters, singers, musicians that do what they do so they can be read, seen, heard, and that wouldn't do it otherwise. It seems like something perfectly reasonable and normal (the contrary is not "not normal". Don't make me say what I didn't).

And I don't recall ever saying something like "I'll be happy when".
I consider myself as being happy overall, but I'm disappointed with my "piano life" right now and I want that to improve and be fulfilling again.

I really thought I'd find people who understands me in here, since we are all amateur pianists and most of us must have went through some discouragement periods.
But I realize that many people don't feel the way I do. Which is perfectly fine and, in fact, it is interesting to see the variety of approaches.
(I appreciate less when I'm told that my point of view is wrong, though).

-

Anyway, at first, I wanted to come here to share my happiness of the night. I had my first lesson of 2019 tonight. It went pretty much as usual. I was a little bit disappointed of myself because I haven't practice much since our last lesson, but didn't want to cancel.
There is not much to be said about the lesson. It went smoothly and there wasn't anything out of the ordinary. After the lesson, as usual, I stayed at the conservatory, in the practice room, to take some notes about the lesson. Then I've stayed to practice. And, to my surprise, considering how tired I was, I stayed there for 1h45. I've only practiced the first page of my Debussy, often in very short sections at a time. Nothing to make me feel like I was kind of playing the piece.
But, in the end, when I realized the time it was, I stood up, took my scores smiling and feeling so serene. Previously, I was feeling like this almost every time after a practice session (not always. We all have bad days). But I hadn't had that feeling in a few months. I feel just so good right now!

I texted my teacher just because I told him a bit about what I was going through in one lesson in December, and he asked me if I still liked playing piano. There was no doubt for me that the answer was yes, even though the motivation and energy wasn't there. And I wanted him to know that tonight, our lesson really made me feel good (in the past, I was often invigorated from my lessons. It gave me ideas on how to continue improving and willingness to but the advice into practice. This is in part what happened tonight. And I know my teacher sometimes doubt of himself, feeling he is too punctilious. But it's one of the reason I like him. He is thorough.).

Let's hope it will continue tomorrow!


My piano journey from day 1
Started piano on February 2016.
Pieces I'm working on :
- Rameau, Les Sauvages
- (Classical piece TBD)
- Chopin, nocturne op. posth. in C# minor
- Debussy, Golliwog's cakewalk
- Pozzoli, E.R. 427, etude no. 6
Re: Drop of motivation [Re: CadenzaVvi] #2800738
01/11/19 03:23 AM
01/11/19 03:23 AM
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India
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Hey Cadenza,

It's good to hear that you are getting your mojo back! You are a big inspiration for beginners like me.

You've done fantastically well in the last 2 years. Once we do so well, nothing below that standard is satisfying to the self. Hence we keep pushing and pushing to maintain that. This is something that a colleague and I often discussed at work. It's extremely difficult to constantly maintain the high standards we set for ourselves, without burning out. So don't take it too hard. Your love for the piano is very apparent, and sooner or later, the 'old spark' will return.

Reading your last post made me very happy. Inspiration comes in waves. Hopefully, a crest is just round the corner..


Think Twice, Play Once
Re: Drop of motivation [Re: CadenzaVvi] #2800753
01/11/19 06:07 AM
01/11/19 06:07 AM
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Cumbria, England
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Originally Posted by CadenzaVvi
After the lesson, as usual, I stayed at the conservatory, in the practice room, to take some notes about the lesson. Then I've stayed to practice. And, to my surprise, considering how tired I was, I stayed there for 1h45. I've only practiced the first page of my Debussy, often in very short sections at a time. Nothing to make me feel like I was kind of playing the piece.
But, in the end, when I realized the time it was, I stood up, took my scores smiling and feeling so serene. Previously, I was feeling like this almost every time after a practice session (not always. We all have bad days). But I hadn't had that feeling in a few months. I feel just so good right now!

[...]

Let's hope it will continue tomorrow!


That makes me very, very happy for you! You were in flow on that practice session... there's nothing so satisfying as that.

When I spotted your thread today, I read "drop of motivation" more like "drop of water", if that makes sense. As in, put a drop of motivation in a glass of time and see what happens... then I clicked on it and read that, fantastic.

What do you think was the difference that made the difference?


Q: Am I late beginner, or early intermediate? A: Yes!

Use what talents you possess; the woods would be very silent if no birds sang except those that sang best. ~ Henry Van Dyke
Re: Drop of motivation [Re: CadenzaVvi] #2800766
01/11/19 08:05 AM
01/11/19 08:05 AM
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Originally Posted by CadenzaVvi
Well, saying that "music has no meaning if I can't perform" might be an overstatement, but I felt like something was missing in my first 1,5 year at the piano, and that something was the option to play for others. Art is made to be shared. It is not vain in itself, but it is so much more when you can share it. Why write a book if not to be read by someone? Why paint a painting if no to be seen by anyone? Why to play music if not to be heard by anyone?


I've never heard anyone else say that they feel the same way I do about playing. For me it quickly breaks down into three categories:

1) Playing by myself. I enjoy it and the logistics are easy.
2) Performing for others, which I hate and from which I derive no joy. My dogs are my only audience.
3) Playing with friends. I love this but it gets a little harder to get people together with each passing year.

Re: Drop of motivation [Re: CadenzaVvi] #2800769
01/11/19 08:28 AM
01/11/19 08:28 AM
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Owen Sound, Ontario
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Originally Posted by CadenzaVvi
...
And I don't recall ever saying something like "I'll be happy when."


Originally Posted by CadenzaVvin
When I'll be very good, I might be happy with my level...


Originally Posted by CadenzaVvi
I'll be so happy when I'll be able to play that Nocturne, that Debussy, that... when I'll have overcome some more challenges. Then new challenges will seem possible to overcome as well and I'll continue my progress..."


Originally Posted by CadenzaVvi

I appreciate less when I'm told that my point of view is wrong, though).


Do you just want agreement then? How can anyone help?

Re: Drop of motivation [Re: CadenzaVvi] #2800778
01/11/19 09:40 AM
01/11/19 09:40 AM
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Originally Posted by CadenzaVvi
But I realize that many people don't feel the way I do. Which is perfectly fine and, in fact, it is interesting to see the variety of approaches.
(I appreciate less when I'm told that my point of view is wrong, though).

And then, of course, there are some people who do feel the way you do! smile


across the stone, deathless piano performances

"Discipline is more reliable than motivation." -by a contributor on Reddit r/piano
"Success is 10% inspiration, and 90% perspiration." -by some other wise person
Re: Drop of motivation [Re: CadenzaVvi] #2800779
01/11/19 09:43 AM
01/11/19 09:43 AM
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Florida
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Originally Posted by CadenzaVvi
Well, saying that "music has no meaning if I can't perform" might be an overstatement, but I felt like something was missing in my first 1,5 year at the piano, and that something was the option to play for others. Art is made to be shared. It is not vain in itself, but it is so much more when you can share it. Why write a book if not to be read by someone? Why paint a painting if no to be seen by anyone? Why to play music if not to be heard by anyone?

I know not all people feel the need to play for others. I know the anxiety and all the stuff. But for me, just practicing for myself is not enough. On the long run, even though I enjoy it, there is something missing. And I feel like it should be understandable.
There are loads of writers, painters, singers, musicians that do what they do so they can be read, seen, heard, and that wouldn't do it otherwise. It seems like something perfectly reasonable and normal (the contrary is not "not normal". Don't make me say what I didn't).

And I don't recall ever saying something like "I'll be happy when".
I consider myself as being happy overall, but I'm disappointed with my "piano life" right now and I want that to improve and be fulfilling again.

I really thought I'd find people who understands me in here, since we are all amateur pianists and most of us must have went through some discouragement periods.
But I realize that many people don't feel the way I do. Which is perfectly fine and, in fact, it is interesting to see the variety of approaches.
(I appreciate less when I'm told that my point of view is wrong, though).

-

Anyway, at first, I wanted to come here to share my happiness of the night. I had my first lesson of 2019 tonight. It went pretty much as usual. I was a little bit disappointed of myself because I haven't practice much since our last lesson, but didn't want to cancel.
There is not much to be said about the lesson. It went smoothly and there wasn't anything out of the ordinary. After the lesson, as usual, I stayed at the conservatory, in the practice room, to take some notes about the lesson. Then I've stayed to practice. And, to my surprise, considering how tired I was, I stayed there for 1h45. I've only practiced the first page of my Debussy, often in very short sections at a time. Nothing to make me feel like I was kind of playing the piece.
But, in the end, when I realized the time it was, I stood up, took my scores smiling and feeling so serene. Previously, I was feeling like this almost every time after a practice session (not always. We all have bad days). But I hadn't had that feeling in a few months. I feel just so good right now!

I texted my teacher just because I told him a bit about what I was going through in one lesson in December, and he asked me if I still liked playing piano. There was no doubt for me that the answer was yes, even though the motivation and energy wasn't there. And I wanted him to know that tonight, our lesson really made me feel good (in the past, I was often invigorated from my lessons. It gave me ideas on how to continue improving and willingness to but the advice into practice. This is in part what happened tonight. And I know my teacher sometimes doubt of himself, feeling he is too punctilious. But it's one of the reason I like him. He is thorough.).

Let's hope it will continue tomorrow!


Glad you had a good lesson and enjoyment in practicing! Keep it up! One thing I'd be careful about, though, is practicing with fatigue can be less productive; also, staying on one piece for 1 hr 45 min can also drop productivity. Might mix in some other practice to break it up.

Don't forget to sleep


Steinway A3
Boston 118 PE

Working On
Chopin 28:15
Tchaikovsky Seasons: October

"You Can Never Have Too Many Dream Pianos" -Thad Carhart
Re: Drop of motivation [Re: cmb13] #2800874
01/11/19 02:08 PM
01/11/19 02:08 PM
Joined: May 2018
Posts: 323
Quebec city, QC
CadenzaVvi Offline OP
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Originally Posted by Greener
Originally Posted by CadenzaVvi
...
And I don't recall ever saying something like "I'll be happy when."


Originally Posted by CadenzaVvin
When I'll be very good, I might be happy with my level...


Originally Posted by CadenzaVvi
I'll be so happy when I'll be able to play that Nocturne, that Debussy, that... when I'll have overcome some more challenges. Then new challenges will seem possible to overcome as well and I'll continue my progress..."


Originally Posted by CadenzaVvi

I appreciate less when I'm told that my point of view is wrong, though).


Do you just want agreement then? How can anyone help?

Hmm, I feel those are out of context, or that maybe the language barrier made those statements mean something else than I intended.

It is true that I'll be happy when I'll be able to play my nocturne. But it doesn't mean that I'm not happy right now.

As for the example concerning the level, it was more to say "maybe one day, I won't want to become better. I'll be happy / satisfied / I'll consider my level high enough that I won't feel the need to improve". I really doubt this day will happen, but it was specifically answering someone else. For now, progressing is a big part of what motivates me. If there was no improvement, I would most certainly quit the piano.

I hope that clarifies the situation.

Originally Posted by elenmirie
Originally Posted by CadenzaVvi
After the lesson, as usual, I stayed at the conservatory, in the practice room, to take some notes about the lesson. Then I've stayed to practice. And, to my surprise, considering how tired I was, I stayed there for 1h45. I've only practiced the first page of my Debussy, often in very short sections at a time. Nothing to make me feel like I was kind of playing the piece.
But, in the end, when I realized the time it was, I stood up, took my scores smiling and feeling so serene. Previously, I was feeling like this almost every time after a practice session (not always. We all have bad days). But I hadn't had that feeling in a few months. I feel just so good right now!

[...]

Let's hope it will continue tomorrow!


That makes me very, very happy for you! You were in flow on that practice session... there's nothing so satisfying as that.

When I spotted your thread today, I read "drop of motivation" more like "drop of water", if that makes sense. As in, put a drop of motivation in a glass of time and see what happens... then I clicked on it and read that, fantastic.

What do you think was the difference that made the difference?


Hmmm, nothing in particular. I've come back from my vacation. I might be less exhausted in general (even though I felt tired yesterday). And, hopping back into work, I'm trying to hop into my previous piano routine, trying to stop the vicious cercle to go back in the "virtuous" circle (practice --> progress --> motivation --> practice). I've practiced a little 30 minutes on monday, 1 hour on tuesday. I didn't practice wednesday (I had something else in the evening and came back home late). Then 1h15 lesson thursday and 1h45 of practice. So maybe simply getting back into it, feeling the progress is what made the difference.

Originally Posted by Tyrone Slothrop
Originally Posted by CadenzaVvi
But I realize that many people don't feel the way I do. Which is perfectly fine and, in fact, it is interesting to see the variety of approaches.
(I appreciate less when I'm told that my point of view is wrong, though).

And then, of course, there are some people who do feel the way you do! smile

Yes, I choose carefully my word, with "many" and not "all", thinking of you. smile

Originally Posted by cmb13
Originally Posted by CadenzaVvi
Well, saying that "music has no meaning if I can't perform" might be an overstatement, but I felt like something was missing in my first 1,5 year at the piano, and that something was the option to play for others. Art is made to be shared. It is not vain in itself, but it is so much more when you can share it. Why write a book if not to be read by someone? Why paint a painting if no to be seen by anyone? Why to play music if not to be heard by anyone?

I know not all people feel the need to play for others. I know the anxiety and all the stuff. But for me, just practicing for myself is not enough. On the long run, even though I enjoy it, there is something missing. And I feel like it should be understandable.
There are loads of writers, painters, singers, musicians that do what they do so they can be read, seen, heard, and that wouldn't do it otherwise. It seems like something perfectly reasonable and normal (the contrary is not "not normal". Don't make me say what I didn't).

And I don't recall ever saying something like "I'll be happy when".
I consider myself as being happy overall, but I'm disappointed with my "piano life" right now and I want that to improve and be fulfilling again.

I really thought I'd find people who understands me in here, since we are all amateur pianists and most of us must have went through some discouragement periods.
But I realize that many people don't feel the way I do. Which is perfectly fine and, in fact, it is interesting to see the variety of approaches.
(I appreciate less when I'm told that my point of view is wrong, though).

-

Anyway, at first, I wanted to come here to share my happiness of the night. I had my first lesson of 2019 tonight. It went pretty much as usual. I was a little bit disappointed of myself because I haven't practice much since our last lesson, but didn't want to cancel.
There is not much to be said about the lesson. It went smoothly and there wasn't anything out of the ordinary. After the lesson, as usual, I stayed at the conservatory, in the practice room, to take some notes about the lesson. Then I've stayed to practice. And, to my surprise, considering how tired I was, I stayed there for 1h45. I've only practiced the first page of my Debussy, often in very short sections at a time. Nothing to make me feel like I was kind of playing the piece.
But, in the end, when I realized the time it was, I stood up, took my scores smiling and feeling so serene. Previously, I was feeling like this almost every time after a practice session (not always. We all have bad days). But I hadn't had that feeling in a few months. I feel just so good right now!

I texted my teacher just because I told him a bit about what I was going through in one lesson in December, and he asked me if I still liked playing piano. There was no doubt for me that the answer was yes, even though the motivation and energy wasn't there. And I wanted him to know that tonight, our lesson really made me feel good (in the past, I was often invigorated from my lessons. It gave me ideas on how to continue improving and willingness to but the advice into practice. This is in part what happened tonight. And I know my teacher sometimes doubt of himself, feeling he is too punctilious. But it's one of the reason I like him. He is thorough.).

Let's hope it will continue tomorrow!


Glad you had a good lesson and enjoyment in practicing! Keep it up! One thing I'd be careful about, though, is practicing with fatigue can be less productive; also, staying on one piece for 1 hr 45 min can also drop productivity. Might mix in some other practice to break it up.

Don't forget to sleep

The 1h45, in fact, was more
- 30 minutes to take notes on the lesson
- 15 minutes of scales and sight singing exercices (not exactly "sight" singing. More like playing a note, singing the major scale, the triads of each degree of the scale, and doing the same with the relative minor)
- 1 hour on the piece

Sleepy practice is less efficient, but certainly better than no practice. smile
I'll try to get some well deserved rest this week-end though. This first week of work has been busy!


My piano journey from day 1
Started piano on February 2016.
Pieces I'm working on :
- Rameau, Les Sauvages
- (Classical piece TBD)
- Chopin, nocturne op. posth. in C# minor
- Debussy, Golliwog's cakewalk
- Pozzoli, E.R. 427, etude no. 6
Re: Drop of motivation [Re: CadenzaVvi] #2800897
01/11/19 03:26 PM
01/11/19 03:26 PM
Joined: Jul 2017
Posts: 206
Salish Sea
Qwerty53 Online content
Full Member
Qwerty53  Online Content
Full Member

Joined: Jul 2017
Posts: 206
Salish Sea
Just read through the thread and I was so happy to see this, CadenzaVvi: “But, in the end, when I realized the time it was, I stood up, took my scores smiling and feeling so serene.” Isn’t that a delicious feeling?!


”Mister Upright,” Yamaha YUS5.
Re: Drop of motivation [Re: CadenzaVvi] #2800959
01/11/19 05:53 PM
01/11/19 05:53 PM
Joined: May 2018
Posts: 323
Quebec city, QC
CadenzaVvi Offline OP
Full Member
CadenzaVvi  Offline OP
Full Member

Joined: May 2018
Posts: 323
Quebec city, QC
It is! That's why I missed it since it was gone those past months! smile


My piano journey from day 1
Started piano on February 2016.
Pieces I'm working on :
- Rameau, Les Sauvages
- (Classical piece TBD)
- Chopin, nocturne op. posth. in C# minor
- Debussy, Golliwog's cakewalk
- Pozzoli, E.R. 427, etude no. 6
Page 1 of 4 1 2 3 4

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