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Re: What Keeps Me (and You) Going
DDobs #2948612 02/18/20 03:21 PM
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I have no reason to play piano now, other than I like the sound of it. Always in tune, and Yamaha know how to create attractive piano sounds. Just one or two notes can unearth a magical harmony, or discord. then I'm off on one.
Every three months I know how to make folk suffer!

Sorry, guys! smile


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Re: What Keeps Me (and You) Going
JB_PW #2948617 02/18/20 03:31 PM
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Originally Posted by JB_PW
I read The Inner Game of Tennis last year (based on recommendations here). Really interesting stuff about what happens when we are trying too hard (maybe similar to putting pressure on ourselves to do something). I need to read that again...


Yes, that's a great book!


Originally Posted by JB_PW

2 years ago I decided I wanted to play piano for my concert band, and it was like a switch was flipped. Ever since, I can't imagine not practicing every day that I'm able (not on 12-hour work days). My conductor could find a piano player at any time and the opportunity will have passed, but even knowing that, I'm so in love with playing now that I don't believe I'll give it up again. I can't fully explain what caused this shift in my brain...but I'm certainly enjoying it.


That's fantastic. Do you have any suspicions about what caused that shift? I'd be really curious to know.

I've experienced shifts like that as well regarding piano playing. For me, it was about (1) developing pristine clarity over how exactly to play, and (2) realizing that I could actually enjoy all of my mistakes. The whole thing is just a lot of fun now.

Re: What Keeps Me (and You) Going
MichaelJK #2948655 02/18/20 04:56 PM
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Originally Posted by MichaelJK
That's fantastic. Do you have any suspicions about what caused that shift? I'd be really curious to know.


Hmmm...I've been thinking about it more since I wrote that. I appreciate your interest. smile

I have played clarinet since I was 10. I inherited some musical talent, so everything came pretty easy to me. I was always one of the best band students at my small school. I rarely "needed" to practice in order to play the music well, so I didn't. frown My rude awakening came at the end of my senior year when I participated in an honor orchestra, and then when I was a clarinet major (briefly) in college the following year. I realized I had a long ways to go, and it was going to take a LOT more work than I was used to to get there. I opted to drop out after 2 terms rather than become more disciplined (a music-related career really wasn't in the cards for me anyway).

I've been playing in community bands ever since, and still...I was putting in the minimum effort until about 4 years ago when I became a section leader. I suddenly felt very self-conscious about my lack of endurance and preparation, and I wanted to set a better example.

So...long story boring...it may just be that my mindset had already shifted before I returned to piano because I've become more dedicated when playing clarinet.

I think it's great that you can enjoy your mistakes. That's not a skill I possess, unfortunately! It would certainly make practicing less frustrating at times.

Last edited by JB_PW; 02/18/20 04:57 PM.

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Re: What Keeps Me (and You) Going
DDobs #2948676 02/18/20 05:44 PM
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What keeps me motivated is the fact that I co-organize a piano meet up group in my area and I schedule at least 1 event every month which forces me to at least polish some piece I am working to a certain degree of performance level.

I also like that I've made friends from my piano groups- I know its been said that piano is a solitary activity but at my groups, I have met some of the same people who attend. Sometimes each of us play the same piece and if we go to a bar or restaurant after the event, we discuss those performances and talk about our practice techniques and approach to those pieces. It is really eye opening sometimes because I get good ideas on how to tackle practice sessions- and its nice to have that type of feedback in real time as opposed to just an online forum. I know we have ABF recitals but sweating over a good recording in your own free time and in the comfort of your own home is not the same as actually sitting down in front of a group of people at a random music school practice room or recital venue and actually play a piece ( or play it from memory). Now with my group, we have some members who are hosting their own informal piano gatherings at their homes and its been really fun to have that social aspect come to fruition.

So in sum, its the people who are keeping me motivated for now- the fact that one day I will come close to playing my "dream" pieces is another, but usually its my own laziness/lack of time/energy to get that under way.

Last edited by AssociateX; 02/18/20 05:49 PM.

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Re: What Keeps Me (and You) Going
DDobs #2948684 02/18/20 06:07 PM
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I started piano as an adult after playing violin for a few years. I was introduced to piano as a child but couldn't get the 2 hands to coordinate. As an adult learner, I spent the first few years self-learning from online resources and eventually enrolled in an adult group class. I was supposed to get the Alfred's Adult Piano Course #1. I got both Book 1 & 2. In the first 3 days managed to sight-read through all the pieces in Book 1 from cover to cover.

Over the years I played a number of interesting pieces including Bach "French Suite" #2 & 3, Schubert "Ave Maria", a movement out of a Beethoven Sonata. Once in a while I still go back to the Alfred's Adult Piano Book 1 & 2. Most of us would never be a professional and play as a hobby. The main goal of playing is to have fun. We're not competing with other people or always aim to tackle more difficult pieces.

Once I was at a birthday party. There were 3 kids in the group sitting at a digital piano with a piece of sheet music. The piece didn't look too complicated with just 4 lines. Each of them tried to decipher the notes but nobody came close to reproducing the song. Their father who had music lessons before absolutely hated piano. Some parents think they get kids into piano or violin as a way for them to learn discipline. Music becomes a kind of technical exercise. Does anybody in the family get into playing music for fun?

The first & last piece of music I got into was the Bach Contrapunctus Fugue #1 from the "Art of Fugue". This is a technical 4-part piece that Bach wrote during the last days of his life. I don't think any of the great composers wrote their pieces to be "serious" music than for listening pleasure. We tend to think of music (Classical in particular) as serious music. We need to spend hours at it perfecting every note, all the dynamics & phrasing. If we don't enjoy the pieces we play, we're going to be more stressed after each practice session.

Re: What Keeps Me (and You) Going
JB_PW #2949327 02/19/20 11:41 PM
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Originally Posted by JB_PW

So...long story boring...it may just be that my mindset had already shifted before I returned to piano because I've become more dedicated when playing clarinet.


I've always found it interesting how mindsets like that can transfer from one skill to the next.

Originally Posted by JB_PW

I think it's great that you can enjoy your mistakes. That's not a skill I possess, unfortunately! It would certainly make practicing less frustrating at times.


You can practice enjoying your mistakes. I highly recommend it smile

Re: What Keeps Me (and You) Going
DDobs #2950345 02/22/20 08:51 PM
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Hi,

Our family moved nearly 8 months ago and I no longer receive weekly piano lessons. Fortunately my piano teacher and music director from church gifted me with liturgical music that they no longer use in their music ministry. Lucky me; I've got a "ton" of sheet music to challenge me and keep me busy for a while.

As a participant to the MYOD forum last year, I was able to make piano practice an essential part of my lifestyle. It does help that I keep my house plants and piano in the same room. It's kind of hard to ignore the piano when I have to open the blinds in the morning and then close them at night!


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Re: What Keeps Me (and You) Going
MichaelJK #2950491 02/23/20 10:51 AM
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Originally Posted by MichaelJK

You can practice enjoying your mistakes. I highly recommend it smile


If I make mistakes and recover from them, it's great for the confidence.

Re: What Keeps Me (and You) Going
johnstaf #2950496 02/23/20 10:55 AM
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Originally Posted by johnstaf
Originally Posted by MichaelJK

You can practice enjoying your mistakes. I highly recommend it smile


If I make mistakes and recover from them, it's great for the confidence.


My teacher told me about two young students, brothers, if I recall correctly. One kid gets horribly upset when he makes a mistake, which leads to more mistakes, and then he has a breakdown at the keyboard. The other kid laughs at his mistakes and plays with joy and abandon. I’m trying to be like the latter student. I laugh at my mistakes and I am grateful that I can hear that they’re mistakes.

Re: What Keeps Me (and You) Going
DDobs #2950537 02/23/20 12:26 PM
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I have found that just laughing it off helps to not derail my entire practice into a big frustrating mess, as getting angry does.


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Re: What Keeps Me (and You) Going
LarryK #2951119 02/24/20 06:01 PM
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Originally Posted by LarryK

My teacher told me about two young students, brothers, if I recall correctly. One kid gets horribly upset when he makes a mistake, which leads to more mistakes, and then he has a breakdown at the keyboard. The other kid laughs at his mistakes and plays with joy and abandon. I’m trying to be like the latter student. I laugh at my mistakes and I am grateful that I can hear that they’re mistakes.


Breakdowns are no fun. Playing with joy and abandon, on the other hand, certainly is.

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