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Re: Holly's Practice Diary [Re: HollyBytheLake] #2806550 01/25/19 11:23 AM
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Practising piano needs conscious coordination, independence and fine control of our mechanism from our core down to our fingers to bring out the music. That's an intellectual exercise.

If we're not concentrating, it can't be practise so it isn't helping.
If we are concentrating, it can't be boring.

smile


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Re: Holly's Practice Diary [Re: Sibylle] #2806593 01/25/19 12:56 PM
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Sibylle - Hilarious and so relatable. Yesterday's work on the little Beethoven Folk song had my ego telling me I'd knock it out in week. Just needed a little speed and a little flourish. Then I found myself with 10 minutes before work this morning and since I woke up with it playing on my internal radio (Dr. Alan Huckleberry's version on YouTube, not my own, mind you) well why not sit down and enjoy playing it for the pleasure of it?

uhm, wait, what...whose fingers are these? REALLY? I spent half an hour on this thing yesterday and you'd think I'd never played it before!!!! ARgh! I'm going to work, stupid piano, stupid Beethoven. Changed the station in my head to some Chopin and departed.

I'll get back to it Sunday probably, being sensible in practice mode at that time, with the metronome set at a sedate 58 and missing no notes and all will be well and in a reasonable 3 or 4 weeks I can record it without embarrassing myself.

In the meantime when I want to play just to play I'll sit down to Rainbow Connection, a piece memorized for more than 4 months, and experiment some more with playing it with swing rhythm on the fly. THAT was fun and reminds me that all things in their time will come.

Maybe not Chopin...or Listz, certainly not Rachmaninoff, but possibly a little Gurlitt? Surely a touch of Kabalevsky from his Children's book that can be improved with some swing rhythm to make my kids laugh at my antics...yeah, in time that'll happen.

Happy playing to you.

Last edited by HollyBytheLake; 01/25/19 12:58 PM.

but think how good I could be in five years...
Re: Holly's Practice Diary [Re: Tech-key] #2806595 01/25/19 12:59 PM
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Thank you so much Tech-key!


but think how good I could be in five years...
Re: Holly's Practice Diary [Re: zrtf90] #2806599 01/25/19 01:02 PM
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Probably very good advice zrtf90.

Having done years of scale on flute I'm fairly comfortable with the point of them musically. I'm going to have my mom review my form when I see her in March. She played Chopin all through my childhood and never hesitates to give it to me straight! Arpeggios are for the birds at this point though, just running through the two pages worth in my lesson book for the current unit was more than enough for the time being!


but think how good I could be in five years...
Re: Holly's Practice Diary [Re: HollyBytheLake] #2806646 01/25/19 03:04 PM
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Originally Posted by HollyBytheLake
Sibylle - Hilarious and so relatable. Yesterday's work on the little Beethoven Folk song had my ego telling me I'd knock it out in week. Just needed a little speed and a little flourish. Then I found myself with 10 minutes before work this morning and since I woke up with it playing on my internal radio (Dr. Alan Huckleberry's version on YouTube, not my own, mind you) well why not sit down and enjoy playing it for the pleasure of it?

uhm, wait, what...whose fingers are these? REALLY? I spent half an hour on this thing yesterday and you'd think I'd never played it before!!!! ARgh! I'm going to work, stupid piano, stupid Beethoven. Changed the station in my head to some Chopin and departed.

[...]
Happy playing to you.


Attentive readers may have noted that I mentioned that little morsel of Beethoven, the Russian Folk Song, as the first classical piece I played on piano, in a beginning piano class which is where I started the first time. About six weeks in, we had an exam where we had to play that, all something like 15 of us in the class. NOBODY played it like Alan Huckleberry plays it on YouTube. We didn't have YouTube. We did do the best we could, guided by the class teacher. When I picked up the piano again, that was the first thing I tried, along with Hanon exercises (yeah, I know, so sue me.)

I do recall, when I took that exam in piano class, that I sat down at the piano at the front of the class, and said to the teacher, "I feel like I've never seen a keyboard before." She repeated it out to the class (so they would know they weren't alone; that didn't bother me). I played it okay, but not as good as I'd practiced it. I was an experienced performer by then on other instruments.

All that nice stuff on YouTube is great. A force for good. But also, potentially, a force for evil, if it discourages us from doing our best at the level we are at. Or makes us feel inadequate for being where we are.

I am rambling. But, can we please be a little bit child-like, and not worry about how inadequate we are compared with others (I know their secret, they simply practiced diligently for 20+ years!), and only play what we can as we can, make the music that we are capable of making, and let things unfold as they will?

All the best, fellow pilgrim!


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: Holly's Practice Diary [Re: HollyBytheLake] #2806686 01/25/19 04:55 PM
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Thanks Elenmirie, very valid points. Especially in my 20s and 30s seeing what is on YouTube would have been discouraging. Especially seeing some 6 year old NAIL a piece I struggle with. As I close in on 50 however I'm both more selective in what I choose to view and more at peace with where my abilities fit it the grand scheme of things. How wonderful it was to use YouTube to familiarize myself with the playing and performance style of Emmanuel Axe before getting the chance to see him live with our local symphony. How awe inspiring to hear Josh Wright do Sleigh bells at Christmas so fast and clear and light to make me swoon. How inexpensive and fast an opportunity to hear many versions of a piece I'm learning to inspire ideas for where I want to go with it. On the other hand, I'll skip those vids of the 7 year old prodigy and most especially I avoid the compilations of "my progress in a year". Those trip my switches, best to leave them to whosoever finds them inspiring. Surely someone does.


but think how good I could be in five years...
Re: Holly's Practice Diary [Re: HollyBytheLake] #2806817 01/26/19 02:59 AM
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Originally Posted by HollyBytheLake
uhm, wait, what...whose fingers are these? REALLY? I spent half an hour on this thing yesterday and you'd think I'd never played it before!!!! ARgh!

So spot on... -Alternative: "Hello there piano, have we met? Are you sure?"

Quote
I'm going to work, stupid piano, stupid Beethoven. Changed the station in my head to some Chopin and departed.

HOW on earth can you do this? My "head radio" is completely independent of my wishes. It'll play something I love, all day, until I give in and listen to it "outside" as well. Or it'll play something I dislike, just because I heard a snatch of it somewhere. Infuriatingly, it also plays stuff I know but can't identify, which drives me up the walls! grin

Last edited by Sibylle; 01/26/19 03:02 AM.

Sibylle


"Not a shred of evidence exists in favour of the idea that life is serious." -Brendan Gill
Re: Holly's Practice Diary [Re: elenmirie] #2806839 01/26/19 06:20 AM
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cmb13 Online Content
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Originally Posted by elenmirie
.........,I know their secret, they simply practiced diligently for 20+ years..........


You totally figured it out!!! It’s not talent, it’s practice, motivation and perserverence!

#10,000hours


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Re: Holly's Practice Diary [Re: Sibylle] #2806891 01/26/19 09:40 AM
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Sibylle, It doesn't always work, but I'm also working on a piece of watered-down Chopin and the melody is so beautiful. I picked up the sheet music and read the first few bars to get myself going and the station changed. My trick for a nasty ear worm is The Beatles. Hard Days Night or Penny Lane can be called up effortlessly!


but think how good I could be in five years...
Re: Holly's Practice Diary [Re: cmb13] #2806894 01/26/19 09:42 AM
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cmb13, I go off in my head while I'm driving dividing 10K hours by 30 years (if life agrees), by 50 weeks, by hours per week...yikes. Mastery might have to take a back seat to "Not half bad." cool


but think how good I could be in five years...
Re: Holly's Practice Diary [Re: HollyBytheLake] #2806902 01/26/19 09:56 AM
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Originally Posted by HollyBytheLake
cmb13, I go off in my head while I'm driving dividing 10K hours by 30 years (if life agrees), by 50 weeks, by hours per week...yikes. Mastery might have to take a back seat to "Not half bad." cool

A friend just this past week, when told I was taking lessons, told me he had amassed about 50,000 hours on the piano. Doing the quick math, I would say even after almost 5 decades, this tells me he picked the wrong career for himself (i.e., business vs. piano)


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
"Pianoteq manages to keep it all together yet simultaneously also go in all directions; like a quantum particle entangled with an unknown and spooky parallel universe simply waiting to be discovered." -by Pete14
Re: Holly's Practice Diary [Re: HollyBytheLake] #2807220 01/27/19 12:33 AM
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Welcome Holly, all the best as you move forward. You will find some supportive and helpful people on this forum. Enjoy yourself.


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Re: Holly's Practice Diary [Re: HollyBytheLake] #2807275 01/27/19 07:39 AM
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Originally Posted by HollyBytheLake
cmb13, I go off in my head while I'm driving dividing 10K hours by 30 years (if life agrees), by 50 weeks, by hours per week...yikes. Mastery might have to take a back seat to "Not half bad." cool
It turns out to be less than an hour per day(10000/30= 1000/3= 333 hours/year). But I think the 10,000 figure is rather silly and reaching a high level depends on so many other factors besides number of hours. Also, there is no definition of mastering the piano.

Re: Holly's Practice Diary [Re: HollyBytheLake] #2807280 01/27/19 07:52 AM
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If you play one hour each day, you will need 27 years, 4 months and give or take 23 days to reach 10,000 hours.


Playing the piano is learning to create, playfully and deeply seriously, our own music in the world.
*
... feeling like the pianist on the Titanic ...
Re: Holly's Practice Diary [Re: HollyBytheLake] #2807339 01/27/19 10:28 AM
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Or 9 hrs / day - only 3 yrs 1 mn and change!


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Bach Inventions

"You Can Never Have Too Many Dream Pianos" -Thad Carhart
Re: Holly's Practice Diary [Re: cmb13] #2807356 01/27/19 11:09 AM
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Originally Posted by cmb13
Or 9 hrs / day - only 3 yrs 1 mn and change!


I love a positive thinker thumb!!


[Linked Image]
Re: Holly's Practice Diary [Re: HollyBytheLake] #2807365 01/27/19 11:26 AM
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I am afraid that our kidnapping of this thread has chased Holly away... frown


Playing the piano is learning to create, playfully and deeply seriously, our own music in the world.
*
... feeling like the pianist on the Titanic ...
Re: Holly's Practice Diary [Re: Animisha] #2807376 01/27/19 12:08 PM
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Originally Posted by Animisha
I am afraid that our kidnapping of this thread has chased Holly away... frown

Yes, I was looking forward to the next chapter of her diary!


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
"Pianoteq manages to keep it all together yet simultaneously also go in all directions; like a quantum particle entangled with an unknown and spooky parallel universe simply waiting to be discovered." -by Pete14
Re: Holly's Practice Diary [Re: NobleHouse] #2807403 01/27/19 01:14 PM
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Originally Posted by NobleHouse
Originally Posted by cmb13
Or 9 hrs / day - only 3 yrs 1 mn and change!


I love a positive thinker thumb!!


Yes, the glass is 1/9th full!


Steinway A3
Boston 118 PE

YouTube

Working On
Chopin Nocturne E min
Bach Inventions

"You Can Never Have Too Many Dream Pianos" -Thad Carhart
Re: Holly's Practice Diary [Re: HollyBytheLake] #2807490 01/27/19 05:43 PM
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Holly, I'm late to this show. If anything we do works for us, then it works for us - it's that simple. If your logs help you keep on track, practise with more focus than your previous attempts (I think you wrote that) then that is a good thing. For those of us who keep records of any kind, we grow over time, so you might look back a year from now and see that growth. You might shake your head about some of your ideas then, but you have grown into your new better ideas through the process.

One thing I'm wondering is this: Are you interested in getting feedback or thoughts on any of your entries?

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