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#2940581 01/30/20 11:27 AM
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How do people overcome boredom of pieces. I am never very good at keeping pieces going in lessons. I am trying not to move on until suggested but this is something only recent. I really always want to move onto new pieces!

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Moo :) #2940584 01/30/20 11:31 AM
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I pick pieces to learn that will not bore me even after longer practice...

Moo :) #2940589 01/30/20 11:42 AM
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I think this happens for a couple of reasons:

1) You have plateaued and thus not making any substantial progress

or

2) You are practicing inefficiently (i.e., just playing through, repetition without really troubleshooting the issues) and thus not making any substantial progress


In the first instance, this is a great time to take a few weeks off of the piece, forget it, and relearn it. You will be able to overcome some more issues this way than continuing practicing through a plateau.

In the second instance, it is solved by being more disciplined in your practice time: focus on the problem areas, find out why they're problems, and find creative solutions that directly address the issue you're having. Only play through the entire piece once every few days.

Another thing you can do for #2 is allow yourself to take a break from the piece for a day. I like to work on a rotation schedule with my pieces. So for example, if I have 4 pieces or movements I'm working on, I'll only play 3 of those on a given day. The 4th gets a rest, and then the next day, another piece gets a rest. I'm still practicing every day, but that day off from a piece is sometimes enough to keep it fresh.

If you are doing the above things and still experiencing this boredom, then you are most likely ready for a longer break (#1).


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I do experience this from time to time, and usually for Morodiene's Reason #1. I also rotate pieces, at least the more mature ones, which would by definition be the ones that have become boring (or stale).


Originally Posted by Morodiene
I think this happens for a couple of reasons:

1) You have plateaued and thus not making any substantial progress


2)...... I like to work on a rotation schedule with my pieces. So for example, if I have 4 pieces or movements I'm working on, I'll only play 3 of those on a given day. The 4th gets a rest, and then the next day, another piece gets a rest. I'm still practicing every day, but that day off from a piece is sometimes enough to keep it fresh.....


Originally Posted by outo
I pick pieces to learn that will not bore me even after longer practice...
For me, even pieces I really enjoy can become stale after a time. Staleness runs the danger of becoming boring, for me.


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Moo :) #2940618 01/30/20 12:32 PM
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Originally Posted by Moo :)
How do people overcome boredom of pieces. I am never very good at keeping pieces going in lessons. I am trying not to move on until suggested but this is something only recent. I really always want to move onto new pieces!

I always wonder if the pieces a teacher chooses is rather arbitrary and not part of an overall learning plan. This includes exam level pieces which might be good at testing time but otherwise not what a student wants to learn.


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Moo :) #2940621 01/30/20 12:38 PM
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I am SO glad you posted this, as I have a similar question! Over the summer, my teacher had me skip forward a level or two and I was playing Bach inventions and Chopin mazurkas. Now I feel like going back to Bach preludes at my level before the summer, and easier pieces are almost a waste of time and I get SO bored with them because there are so many pieces I want to play that are at the level I was at over the summer. I have no issues with being at a higher level, it was comfortable for me, so i'm wondering if I should just continue at that level. Being back where I am right now is killing my desire to play, and my teacher encourages me to play more challenging pieces anyway, so why am I doing this?? I don't want to feel like I'm skipping over stuff, but it's just become very dull for me. I should just move on, right? This seems so stupid.


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Originally Posted by Josh1770
Originally Posted by Moo :)
How do people overcome boredom of pieces. I am never very good at keeping pieces going in lessons. I am trying not to move on until suggested but this is something only recent. I really always want to move onto new pieces!
I always wonder if the pieces a teacher chooses is rather arbitrary and not part of an overall learning plan. This includes exam level pieces which might be good at testing time but otherwise not what a student wants to learn.

I'm not sure 'arbitrary' would necessarily lead to bored.

I do think that a teacher with a (1) broad knowledge of the piano literature and (2) experience of students at different levels will have knowledge of a number of pieces which meet the level and instruction needs of the student, and picking a piece from that collection might be arbitrary. Though the selection might have aspects of arbitrariness in it, it doesn't mean there isn't an overall learning plan.

When assigning a new piece, my teacher will often play snippets of pieces for me to choose from, if I'm not familiar with the pieces. I like that method because it has my teacher's input as to appropriateness, but allows me choice in which one appeals to me the most.


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Moo :) #2940635 01/30/20 12:59 PM
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I have yet to become bored of snow piece, even those I've played hundreds of time. With each new idea, I discover deeper and more beautiful (spiritual) quality. Right now I am experimenting with using the inspiration and expiration of my breath (my spirit) to breathe new qualities into my music. I have always felt that music without spirit will ultimately dry up.

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Thank you. I think I am playing all my pieces when I practice. the idea to focus one a few or rotate is a great one. I do pick all my music with my teacher opinion sort. I do still get bored at times. I think maybe I have quite a narrow selection choice by picking my choices and getting mostly late romantic music. I am planning to learn some baroque and classical music this year which may make it more interesting.

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I am sort of the opposite - I want to keep working on a piece. I think it also depends on whether you are allowed to choose your own pieces. My teacher lets me choose but in the beginning I am confined to Bach, Mozart, Czerny exercises and scales. Pretty much anything I choose within these confines was good for me and wonderful to learn.

The reason I like staying with a piece is because I already put in the grunt work of learning the notes and finally am able to play at tempo. At that point I want to reap the rewards of being able to WORK on a piece of good music instead of just LEARN the notes. But if I run out of ideas then I've nothing more and I move on. Often you get new ideas when you return to a piece later.

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Originally Posted by wszxbcl
I am sort of the opposite - I want to keep working on a piece. I think it also depends on whether you are allowed to choose your own pieces. My teacher lets me choose but in the beginning I am confined to Bach, Mozart, Czerny exercises and scales. Pretty much anything I choose within these confines was good for me and wonderful to learn.

The reason I like staying with a piece is because I already put in the grunt work of learning the notes and finally am able to play at tempo. At that point I want to reap the rewards of being able to WORK on a piece of good music instead of just LEARN the notes. But if I run out of ideas then I've nothing more and I move on. Often you get new ideas when you return to a piece later.
As well you should (continue with the piece)--learning the notes is just the start!


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Moo :) #2940735 01/30/20 05:50 PM
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I do not subscribe to the notion that if I become bored with certain music or begin to dislike it, there must exist lack or culpability in myself or how I am playing it. Neither do I feel an obligation to like something because it is famous or because many other people say I ought to like it. Taste is arbitrary and free, and over my seventy-two years I have passed through hundreds of attachments to various pieces and types of music. Some have remained of interest to me, some have not. Discipline is a fine thing but without essential enjoyment of my music I don't think I would bother.


"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
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I agree with Ted. I play stuff that I'm interested in and if I get tired of what I'm playing I play something else. I don't do much classical music, actually, but I did recently obtain The World's Greatest Symphonic Themes for Piano and I'm getting a fair bit of entertainment out of playing some of that.

There's all kinds of different stuff to play so there's no reason to be bored with it. If you're tired of one thing find something else and play that instead. I try to play everything from Frank Sinatra to Kiss. smile


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Originally Posted by FrankCox
I agree with Ted. I play stuff that I'm interested in and if I get tired of what I'm playing I play something else. I don't do much classical music, actually, but I did recently obtain The World's Greatest Symphonic Themes for Piano and I'm getting a fair bit of entertainment out of playing some of that.

There's all kinds of different stuff to play so there's no reason to be bored with it. If you're tired of one thing find something else and play that instead. I try to play everything from Frank Sinatra to Kiss. smile


Me too. I bail. Maybe I'll never be able to play anything impressive because of it, and I'm ok with that. I don't see any point in playing something I'm not enjoying.

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I'm preparing for my senior recital at school. I started some of the pieces Sep 2018. So coming up on a year and a half. There is only one movement of one piece that doesn't really excite me at the moment. The rest of it I am still enthusiastic about. But I am looking forward to March 2nd (the day after the recital) when I can shove this music on the shelf and start new pieces...

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Originally Posted by Sam S
But I am looking forward to March 2nd (the day after the recital) when I can shove this music on the shelf and start new pieces...
Sam


I am sure the discipline you have acquired in this process will prove a valuable possession when applied to new music. I still cannot get the balance between discipline and enjoyment exactly right in my own music as they are interwoven in very tangled ways.


"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
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I can get all kinds of analytical about why I don't like something.

The only way for me to figure out why I don't like it is to keep playing it.

In many cases, I don't like it because I can't play it. Practicing fixes that.


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Originally Posted by malkin

The only way for me to figure out why I don't like it is to keep playing it.

In many cases, I don't like it because I can't play it. Practicing fixes that.




I am almost the opposite. As long as there's a challenge I don't get bored. But the piece also needs to fit my personal criteria of good music so that I actually want it to sound better. I am getting better and better to know what the elements of that are. Usually I can tell right away that something will bore me and I'm too old to waste my time with such music.

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Interesting discussion. Some pieces I've been playing for years and just never seem to become bored with them. The biggest thing I try to avoid, however, is becoming complacent with them. Because then I will start practicing playing poorly. And, practice always leads to habit! (good or bad).

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Originally Posted by Moo :)
How do people overcome boredom of pieces. I am never very good at keeping pieces going in lessons.


Personally I keep a 50/50 split between my piano lesson world (the stuff that I may not be that enthused about musically but is good to develop me as a pianist), and music that I love and can’t get enough of, but might be too advanced for me and that I can’t really play properly.

I don’t regard my piano teacher as the only source of music I play. That source is me for at least half what I do, and it’s that half that motivates me and means I never get bored.


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