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Where do you find motivation to NOT play beautiful pieces?
#2871220 07/21/19 03:48 PM
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SilentQ Offline OP
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Hello,

I am progressing through the RCM Grade 5 books with my teacher and I am having a heck of a time playing the assigned homework. Most of the pieces are boring, lifeless jingles maybe suited for a cereal commercial.

All I want to do is learn pieces that mean something to me. Frankly, I don’t plan on ever playing La Campanella, and I just can’t stand the basic studies. How do professionals and hobbyists avoid enjoying playing the piano and force themselves to work on something that they don’t like when they have the ability to finally enjoy playing something that they like after years of playing nonsense?

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Re: Where do you find motivation to NOT play beautiful pieces?
SilentQ #2871224 07/21/19 04:00 PM
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Once you realize that those "boring" pieces, that those "basic studies" are stepping stones to playing the "beautiful pieces" you want to play, perhaps you could look at them differently. One of the points of those graded series is to expose the student pianist to music of different eras and to learn the different techniques that such varied music requires.

I've not had any trouble with "boring" music (I can't think of any, actually, that is boring) because all of it, taken as part of training and formation, eventually leads to playing even more beautiful music.

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Re: Where do you find motivation to NOT play beautiful pieces?
SilentQ #2871226 07/21/19 04:01 PM
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Talk to your teacher and discuss this; you should be able to add repertoire outside of the method book pieces that you would love to play. Your teacher can help you assess the skill level. I don’t learn from method books any longer, but I bring in three or four possible new pieces to decide what is appropriate for now versus what should wait. You can do the same.


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Re: Where do you find motivation to NOT play beautiful pieces?
SilentQ #2871228 07/21/19 04:07 PM
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I don't know, that's why I quitted piano many years ago. When I came back I decide to learn by myself.

But last year I got a teacher and now I don't mine practicing boring stuff because I'm also learning pieces that I really enjoy.



“To send light into the darkness of men’s hearts - such is the duty of the artist.”
- Robert Schumann

Re: Where do you find motivation to NOT play beautiful pieces?
SilentQ #2871234 07/21/19 04:22 PM
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Originally Posted by SilentQ
Hello,

I am progressing through the RCM Grade 5 books with my teacher and I am having a heck of a time playing the assigned homework. Most of the pieces are boring, lifeless jingles maybe suited for a cereal commercial.


I'm also working through the RCM syllabus and I'm not sure what you mean. Jingles? I don't recall playing anything like that at level 5, it's all classical repertoire, there isn't a method book in RCM. The syllabus gives scores of pieces to choose from. Did your teacher let you choose what pieces you wanted to learn? Students generally choose alongside the teacher. If you're not sure what they sound like, probably almost all of them are on Youtube. Give a listen. I'm sure you can find 3-4 that you'd enjoy learning. Other pieces and etudes are expressly for learning different techniques and ways of working with your music. Every bit of the learning process is necessary in making you a better pianist.


Lisa

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Re: Where do you find motivation to NOT play beautiful pieces?
SilentQ #2871235 07/21/19 04:26 PM
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Not every piece you learn will be a mind-blowing masterpiece. Some are just stepping stones and that's all. However, RCM Grade 5 has plenty of great music in there: pieces by Scarlatti, Beethoven, JS Bach, Schumann, Granados, Kabalevsky...I could go on. There is lots of non-boring stuff here!

So are they really boring, or are you playing them in a boring way? No matter what level piece you are playing, the goal should always ultimately be to make it into music - not just the right notes at the right time.

There are ways to do this, and you should ask your teacher how to play pieces in a way that is more interesting to you. There's no need to be bored with this stuff! smile


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Re: Where do you find motivation to NOT play beautiful pieces?
Morodiene #2871237 07/21/19 04:39 PM
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Originally Posted by Morodiene
Not every piece you learn will be a mind-blowing masterpiece. Some are just stepping stones and that's all. However, RCM Grade 5 has plenty of great music in there: pieces by Scarlatti, Beethoven, JS Bach, Schumann, Granados, Kabalevsky...I could go on. There is lots of non-boring stuff here!

So are they really boring, or are you playing them in a boring way? No matter what level piece you are playing, the goal should always ultimately be to make it into music - not just the right notes at the right time.

There are ways to do this, and you should ask your teacher how to play pieces in a way that is more interesting to you. There's no need to be bored with this stuff! smile



+1

What pieces are you playing?


Lisa

Playing RCM 7 & 8 repertoire
Kawai UST-9, Yamaha CLP565GP & CLP645

"I tell my piano the things I used to tell you." - Frederic Chopin
Re: Where do you find motivation to NOT play beautiful pieces?
SilentQ #2871240 07/21/19 04:48 PM
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What kind of pieces would you find interesting?

Re: Where do you find motivation to NOT play beautiful pieces?
SilentQ #2871242 07/21/19 04:55 PM
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You should definitely discuss it with your teacher. I think for an adult beginner the repertoire proportion should at least be 50/50: 50% of repertoire should be chosen by your teacher and the other 50% should be chosen by you.

Theoretically every type of music can be enjoyable, you just need to 'tune in', to find the mood and immerse yourself in such a mood in which you can feel and enjoy that kind of music, like a good actor does when he plays. In theory. Certainly practically it's not always possible, but it's worth trying anyway. But if you personality repulses some piece strongly, the only way to play it is just to concentrate on the physical aspects of playing and enjoy playing it like you enjoy sports.

Re: Where do you find motivation to NOT play beautiful pieces?
Iaroslav Vasiliev #2871247 07/21/19 05:07 PM
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Originally Posted by Iaroslav Vasiliev
You should definitely discuss it with your teacher. I think for an adult beginner the repertoire proportion should at least be 50/50: 50% of repertoire should be chosen by your teacher and the other 50% should be chosen by you.

Theoretically every type of music can be enjoyable, you just need to 'tune in', to find the mood and immerse yourself in such a mood in which you can feel and enjoy that kind of music, like a good actor does when he plays. In theory. Certainly practically it's not always possible, but it's worth trying anyway. But if you personality repulses some piece strongly, the only way to play it is just to concentrate on the physical aspects of playing and enjoy playing it like you enjoy sports.



There is so much wonderful music that I can’t imagine learning something I hate by just working on the physicality and ignoring the musicality. ‘Music’, if mindless, is not music IMHO. . I can’t conceive of a situation where I would need to do this; there is always a repertoire substitution where learning to play it musically would give me pleasure.


"Music, rich, full of feeling, not soulless, is like a crystal on which the sun falls and brings forth from it a whole rainbow" - F. Chopin
"I never dreamt with my own two hands I could touch the sky" - Sappho

It's ok to be a Work In Progress
Re: Where do you find motivation to NOT play beautiful pieces?
SilentQ #2871248 07/21/19 05:08 PM
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It's the job of the teacher to make the lessons and the exercises enjoyable for the students. Children never complain even if they hate their lessons but not adults.



“To send light into the darkness of men’s hearts - such is the duty of the artist.”
- Robert Schumann

Re: Where do you find motivation to NOT play beautiful pieces?
SilentQ #2871253 07/21/19 05:19 PM
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Your post reads like you are going through the entire syllabus for your level. That seems odd.

There's no shortage of decent repertoire at your level. It's only at the absolute beginner level that it's difficult to find a lot of good music.

Re: Where do you find motivation to NOT play beautiful pieces?
Serge88 #2871254 07/21/19 05:22 PM
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Originally Posted by Serge88
It's the job of the teacher to make the lessons and the exercises enjoyable for the students. Children never complain even if they hate their lessons but not adults.

Yes and no. I've had students who are impossible to please, and we waste time trying to find a piece they can play that they like enough to practice instead of learning to play so they can get to more interesting music.

However, if the OP wants to play something other than classical, they need to make that clear to the teacher to help them choose music within that genre.


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Re: Where do you find motivation to NOT play beautiful pieces?
Morodiene #2871281 07/21/19 07:02 PM
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Originally Posted by Morodiene
I've had students who are impossible to please, and we waste time trying to find a piece they can play that they like enough to practice instead of learning to play so they can get to more interesting music.


I don't doubt what you're saying, but nevertheless it boggles my mind because I see sooooo many pieces in pre-level 5 (even in level 2!) that I'd love to play that I can't imagine ever getting to all of them. let alone being bored with them. I suppose it helps that I'm easy to please and have a rather unsophisticated taste in music.

To the OP... I hope you and your teacher can find the appropriate pieces that bring you joy.


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Re: Where do you find motivation to NOT play beautiful pieces?
TX-Bluebonnet #2871283 07/21/19 07:08 PM
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Originally Posted by TX-Bluebonnet
Originally Posted by Morodiene
I've had students who are impossible to please, and we waste time trying to find a piece they can play that they like enough to practice instead of learning to play so they can get to more interesting music.


I don't doubt what you're saying, but nevertheless it boggles my mind because I see sooooo many pieces in pre-level 5 (even in level 2!) that I'd love to play that I can't imagine ever getting to all of them. let alone being bored with them. I suppose it helps that I'm easy to please and have a rather unsophisticated taste in music.

To the OP... I hope you and your teacher can find the appropriate pieces that bring you joy.

I agree, but if the OP doesn't like classical, then I can see why the RCM grade 5 doesn't reach them. But even within that there is some jazz and less traditional sounds. So I'm curious to hear from the OP as to what they like smile


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Re: Where do you find motivation to NOT play beautiful pieces?
SilentQ #2871297 07/21/19 08:44 PM
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I enjoy classical, but it has to have feeling. I really don’t find that I enjoy many from these books.

Right now I am learning Allegro in D Major by Hässler. It is so bad. Also, black pony lol. Most of these sound like they are for kids. From some bad kids TV show. I just can’t figure out how anyone can appreciate the peppy bubbly up beat major pieces like Sonatina C Maj by clementi.

You’d think I don’t like classical, but almost every piece on classical FM I really enjoy.

Oh, I refuse to play the Jazz and Blues. Ick. My teacher knows this lol.

Last edited by SilentQ; 07/21/19 08:46 PM.

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Re: Where do you find motivation to NOT play beautiful pieces?
SilentQ #2871300 07/21/19 08:54 PM
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Those certainly aren't the most entertaining etudes in RCM 5. How about Chicken Talk? laugh

Prelude D Flat Major - Rollins
Sweet Sorrow - Burgmuller
In Church - Tchaikovsky

I enjoyed those.


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Re: Where do you find motivation to NOT play beautiful pieces?
SilentQ #2871302 07/21/19 08:58 PM
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personally when learning more difficult pieces I can begin to take a great dislike to them after an initial honeymoon period. This changes if I can get past this and then get the piece closer to performance.

There is a balance to be had, and it may mean you study something more enjoyable in conjunction with your course. However stretch pieces can be difficult and discouraging or enjoyable depending on your view. However learning short even simpler pieces, perhaps for as little as a week (thinking of the 40 piece challenge) can also be a fun thing to do.


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Re: Where do you find motivation to NOT play beautiful pieces?
SilentQ #2871304 07/21/19 09:15 PM
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There is the problem. I’m playing Tina’s Theme from FF6 and Traumerei. For such serious pieces, going back to the piece by Hassler hurts. I try to play it, decide that I just don’t care and stop playing for the night.


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Re: Where do you find motivation to NOT play beautiful pieces?
SilentQ #2871305 07/21/19 09:16 PM
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Take it from someone who bites off more than he can chew, continue on your path at the appropriate level, it will pay dividends soon. Add a more complex piece for long term study if you’d like, but don’t neglect the basics.


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