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I took a week off! #2852207
05/25/19 08:16 PM
05/25/19 08:16 PM
Joined: Dec 2007
Posts: 3,241
Georgia, USA
Sam S Offline OP

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Sam S  Offline OP

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Georgia, USA
The sunset view from my campsite on Cape Hatteras NC, USA. That's Pamlico Sound with the sun sinking into it.

[Linked Image]

I almost never miss more than a day of practice. Usually I take a keyboard and headphones on my trips and make do somehow. My last multi-day break was way back in 2014 (when I took off 5 months to go hiking!). But I needed a week off. So on a camping trip to the outer banks I took no keyboard.

The first couple of days my hands were very stiff and painful. It doesn't help being 65 years old. Opening and closing my fists over and over for a couple of minutes helped. Then we had so much to do I forgot about it.

This morning I sat down at the piano again and it felt good. I didn't really notice any loss of flexibility. There is some loss of memory though, since I was working hard to memorize new music before I left, and it didn't magically cement itself into my brain while I was gone. Two steps forward and one step back.

But the break was worth it. It was good to break up the routine and do something else, even if just for a week. I'm going off again next month, but will take the keyboard this time!

Sam

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Re: I took a week off! [Re: Sam S] #2852209
05/25/19 08:36 PM
05/25/19 08:36 PM
Joined: Apr 2009
Posts: 4,710
Pennsylvania
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dmd Offline
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Pennsylvania
If you take the keyboard, I hope it is because you enjoy playing it …. not because you do not want to miss practicing for a week.

I would discourage attaching that level of significance to practicing.

Yes, practicing is important …. but so are other things in life.


Don

Kawai MP11SE, Edifier R1850DB Active Bookshelf Speakers, Yamaha HS8S Powered Subwoofer, SennHeiser HD 559 Headphones, Pianoteq and numerous other VSTs
Re: I took a week off! [Re: dmd] #2852210
05/25/19 08:45 PM
05/25/19 08:45 PM
Joined: Dec 2007
Posts: 3,241
Georgia, USA
Sam S Offline OP

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Sam S  Offline OP

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Originally Posted by dmd
If you take the keyboard, I hope it is because you enjoy playing it …. not because you do not want to miss practicing for a week.

I would discourage attaching that level of significance to practicing.

Yes, practicing is important …. but so are other things in life.



Well, I appreciate your long distance analysis, but you don't know me.

I'm retired. I'm also playing in a recital next month, going to adult summer music camp in July, starting my senior year as a piano performance major in the fall, and preparing for a full recital next Spring.

So you might say I have goals...

But yes I enjoy practicing - and trying to reach my goals...

Sam

Re: I took a week off! [Re: Sam S] #2852211
05/25/19 08:49 PM
05/25/19 08:49 PM
Joined: Apr 2009
Posts: 4,710
Pennsylvania
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dmd Offline
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Pennsylvania
Originally Posted by Sam S
Originally Posted by dmd
If you take the keyboard, I hope it is because you enjoy playing it …. not because you do not want to miss practicing for a week.

I would discourage attaching that level of significance to practicing.

Yes, practicing is important …. but so are other things in life.



Well, I appreciate your long distance analysis, but you don't know me.

I'm retired. I'm also playing in a recital next month, going to adult summer music camp in July, starting my senior year as a piano performance major in the fall, and preparing for a full recital next Spring.

So you might say I have goals...

But yes I enjoy practicing - and trying to reach my goals...

Sam


Good for you.

Enjoy.


Don

Kawai MP11SE, Edifier R1850DB Active Bookshelf Speakers, Yamaha HS8S Powered Subwoofer, SennHeiser HD 559 Headphones, Pianoteq and numerous other VSTs
Re: I took a week off! [Re: Sam S] #2852212
05/25/19 08:51 PM
05/25/19 08:51 PM
Joined: Mar 2013
Posts: 3,508
Australia
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earlofmar Online content
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Australia
Originally Posted by Sam S
It was good to break up the routine and do something else, even if just for a week.




I have found this to be really important. Piano can become obsessive, and it is good to put it in perspective by doing other things. Incidentally, I am not long back from a two month trip to Europe and the benefit of the rest was just the tonic I needed.


Following Trying to follow the Ling Ling 40 hour method

Kawai K8 & Kawai Novus NV10


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Re: I took a week off! [Re: Sam S] #2852213
05/25/19 08:54 PM
05/25/19 08:54 PM
Joined: Feb 2016
Posts: 1,963
LA County, California
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Piano fasting is good for you smile I'll be fasting a week here myself starting Monday. I'm looking forward to it!


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Re: I took a week off! [Re: Sam S] #2852225
05/25/19 10:47 PM
05/25/19 10:47 PM
Joined: May 2013
Posts: 3,184
Florida
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You needed and deserved a break, Sam.

I’ll be away for two weeks in June. It’ll be tough!


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"You Can Never Have Too Many Dream Pianos" -Thad Carhart
Re: I took a week off! [Re: Sam S] #2852241
05/26/19 12:26 AM
05/26/19 12:26 AM
Joined: Jun 2015
Posts: 19
Seattle
owenj Offline
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Beautiful photo. I was in (on?) Cape Hatteras last spring to photograph lighthouses--it's a lovely area.

When you do take your keyboard with you, what size is it?


~Jaime
Roland HP603

Currently Working In: Alfred's Adult AIO- Level One, Faber Adult Piano Adventures AIO- Book One, and Playground Sessions: Rookie Tour
Re: I took a week off! [Re: Sam S] #2852276
05/26/19 05:01 AM
05/26/19 05:01 AM
Joined: Sep 2015
Posts: 2,322
Dublin
johnstaf Online crying
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I had to take two months off. It only took a day to get back into the swing of things.

Re: I took a week off! [Re: Sam S] #2852277
05/26/19 05:16 AM
05/26/19 05:16 AM
Joined: Apr 2002
Posts: 1,919
Auckland, New Zealand
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Ted Offline
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Auckland, New Zealand
I have never had the slightest desire for a break from my music, I enjoy being obsessed with it. Nonetheless, apparently Ives enjoyed breaks in the outdoors with Ruggles, so perhaps you might now make a newly inspired attack on The Alcotts.


"We shall always love the music of the masters, but they are all dead and now it's our turn." - Llewelyn Jones, my piano teacher
Re: I took a week off! [Re: owenj] #2852283
05/26/19 05:39 AM
05/26/19 05:39 AM
Joined: Dec 2007
Posts: 3,241
Georgia, USA
Sam S Offline OP

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Sam S  Offline OP

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Georgia, USA
Originally Posted by owenj
Beautiful photo. I was in (on?) Cape Hatteras last spring to photograph lighthouses--it's a lovely area.

When you do take your keyboard with you, what size is it?


Here's an old picture of the inside of the camper, with keyboard up. I have to take it down when not practicing - the camper is pretty small. I have also set it up outside under the awning when the weather cooperates. The keyboard is nothing special, a Yamaha P105, full size. I have a soft case for it, and an X stand. I also take it when staying in motel rooms and so forth - but I always drive where I'm going. I used to use a laptop and pianotek to get better sound, but lately I just use headphones and the stock sound for faster and easier setup/takedown.

[Linked Image]

Sam

Re: I took a week off! [Re: Sam S] #2852288
05/26/19 06:32 AM
05/26/19 06:32 AM
Joined: Sep 2017
Posts: 714
Toronto, Canada
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thepianoplayer416 Offline
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Toronto, Canada
Lovely sunsets that we don’t always get to enjoy.

For someone taking a week or 2 off doesn’t seem a big deal. I take the summer off to be with relatives with no piano / keyboard around. I ended up at the local YMCA a few times a week and practice on a public piano. After a few months my playing would be rusty.

A few people in the family took music lessons at a young age but lost interest completely. As an adult learner I picked the instrument and have the inclination to play everyday or as much as possible when away from home. During the summer I’d do an hour up to two whenever possible. An hour and a half a day on average in the evening allows me to go shopping & sightseeing during the day. I’m not preparing for a performance so don’t need to practice any more than that but taking 3 months off the keys is not an option.

Re: I took a week off! [Re: Sam S] #2852291
05/26/19 06:48 AM
05/26/19 06:48 AM
Joined: Feb 2019
Posts: 859
Sheffield, UK
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KevinM Online content
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Sheffield, UK
Nice to see you have a stand and seat as well. That was what in the end made me decide it was too much. I can easily imagine causing an injury unless things were setup ergonomically properly and that just multiplies what is needed to be brought.

We only travel with a typical car and my partner's mobility scooter takes up most of the boot so what else we take fits in the back seat. I could imagine a smaller slab (73 keys etc.) and that could have fit ok but I realised I was anxious about the ergonomics. So now I just accept travelling without being able to practise. Which is incredibly frustrating. At home it is a fix that I can satisfy a few times a day.

My next work trip is to The Hague for a week, hometown of the guy who owns the company I work for. He bought himself a N1 a couple of years ago, perhaps he'll let me try that, though I suspect that is just a fantasy.


Mendelssohn Song without Words Op19,2 and 19,6, Jensen Sehnsucht Op8,5. Chopin Nocturne C# Minor. Schumann Hasche Mann from Kinderszenen Op15,3. https://soundcloud.com/sheffieldkevin
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Re: I took a week off! [Re: KevinM] #2852294
05/26/19 07:05 AM
05/26/19 07:05 AM
Joined: Sep 2015
Posts: 2,322
Dublin
johnstaf Online crying
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Dublin
Originally Posted by KevinM
My next work trip is to The Hague for a week, hometown of the guy who owns the company I work for. He bought himself a N1 a couple of years ago, perhaps he'll let me try that, though I suspect that is just a fantasy.


Surely he'll be delighted to meet someone who knows what an N1 is! You could be the first person ever show an interest in his piano...

Re: I took a week off! [Re: Sam S] #2852321
05/26/19 09:04 AM
05/26/19 09:04 AM
Joined: Apr 2007
Posts: 17,038
Boynton Beach, FL
Morodiene Offline
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There’s actually some positives for piano progress by taking breaks. I’ve experimented with this lately by taking planned breaks in pieces that I’m working on. I get the piece to a level of fluidity (maybe not memorized 100%, but mostly) and then come back to it after 2-3 weeks or more. Yes, you lose the muscle memory and have to work that back in, but the process to get back takes much less time than originally, and it seems that certain difficult passages become easier.

But I’m like you, we have an RV that we use for our northerly migrations each summer, and also for just traveling for fun. I have a cheap Korg dp here to practice if I need to keep going in my practice. I’ve even tyoed with the idea of taking it outside and playing amongst the trees laugh


private piano/voice teacher FT

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Re: I took a week off! [Re: Sam S] #2852333
05/26/19 09:45 AM
05/26/19 09:45 AM
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Posts: 12,284
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I take frequent breaks away from the piano - usually in remote places away from 'civilization' with no internet access, let alone a piano/keyboard of any sort. Like big mountains.

I never miss not playing during that time (heck, I hardly touched a piano for decades after I left university......) because there's so much more to keep me occupied, like trying to stay alive wink . I come back refreshed, ready to take on the world......OK, ready to take on the piano (maybe).

Though on my last vacation, I had no internet access but had the use of a grand piano. So, I spent some three hours playing it daily (but not 'practicing' because I don't want to hurt people's ears - or drive them away - by repeating short sections ad nauseam: the piano was in a very public place) - in between watching sunrises and sunsets and swimming with sharks and other friendly wildlife.


"I don't play accurately - anyone can play accurately - but I play with wonderful expression. As far as the piano is concerned, sentiment is my forte. I keep science for Life."
Re: I took a week off! [Re: Sam S] #2852375
05/26/19 12:34 PM
05/26/19 12:34 PM
Joined: Oct 2012
Posts: 615
PA
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It is always good to take a break from playing/practicing. I find that when I take a few days off, I come back more relaxed and even more focused. I should do it more often.


Barbara
...without music, no life...
Re: I took a week off! [Re: Sam S] #2852423
05/26/19 02:55 PM
05/26/19 02:55 PM
Joined: Jan 2017
Posts: 1,107
Kitsap County, WA
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I took a week off (minus about an hour playing in some stores) and I have a recital June 1. Not sure how that’s going to go frown my break was not choice alas.


𝒀𝒂𝒎𝒂𝒉𝒂 𝑨𝒗𝒂𝒏𝒕 𝑮𝒓𝒂𝒏𝒅 𝑵1𝑿
Re: I took a week off! [Re: Sam S] #2852429
05/26/19 03:20 PM
05/26/19 03:20 PM
Joined: Jun 2018
Posts: 320
Southeast USA
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My brain loves piano, and my brain loves being away from piano every so often. The key to a happy brain! .....I'll bet there's a poem in there somewhere that would fit that beautiful Outer Banks photo.


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Re: I took a week off! [Re: Sam S] #2852455
05/26/19 04:46 PM
05/26/19 04:46 PM
Joined: Jun 2015
Posts: 828
Melville Saskatchewan
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Melville Saskatchewan
I took an accidental 6 weeks away from my piano and just got it back a few days ago.

My office (where my piano lives) developed a leak through the ceiling. (PRO TIP: When the light fixtures fill up with water, that's a bad sign.)

I had some construction guys come in to look at it and they said that they'll just rip the ceiling down, fix the leak and rebuild the ceiling. Should take four or five days.

So I hauled everything out of my office and set up in another room, but unfortunately once I had my computers, my desks and my bird moved in, there wasn't enough room left for my piano. So I just moved it into an out-of-the-way corner temporarily (after all, it's just a few days, right?)

Then the guys tore the ceiling down. And found another area that had rotted out, so they kept going... and then one of the rafters broke... and then a jack slipped and ruined the floor.. and then.. and then...

Ultimately the four or five day fix turned into a six week renovation.

On the positive side, my office looks nicer now than it ever has.

I was pretty happy to be able to move everything back after all of that. And my bird appreciates having his window back, too.

It's great to have my piano available again. My bird is all in favour of that, too.

In hindsight I should have set up my piano in a spot where I could have still used it. But hey, it's just for four or five days.


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