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Re: Is it hard to restore technical abilities?
20062007 #2922985 12/14/19 10:10 PM
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I concur with Bruce, as usual. While all sorts of stories exist about talented people who push on and ignore their health, good food, exercise and rest are pretty well essential, mentally and physically. Having a lucky technique, I used to play with brute force and ignorance when young. "If one man can mow a lawn in half an hour, therefore a million men can mow it in a fraction of a second". If I became better by playing masses of difficult movements for an hour, therefore I would be twice as good doing it for two hours. Thankfully, with age comes the realisation that all that is nonsense and things do not operate proportionally. Once I started thinking more and practising less improvement came thick and fast.


"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: Is it hard to restore technical abilities?
20062007 #2923030 12/15/19 05:42 AM
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Originally Posted by BruceD
Originally Posted by MrCatMissMew
Can you not find an hour or an hour and a half a day, and an hour a week for a good teacher? Sacrifice some sleep, or other activities? If so, you'll be back to proficient in a matter of a few months.


I would suggest not sacrificing sleep! A rested mind and a rested body are two necessities for good, proficient practicing. You can't be alert, focused and productive if you are sleep-deprived.

Regards,


I agree too! Science is finally giving us conclusive evidence why sacrificing sleep is the worst thing you could do for learning, memory, progress, health and well-being.

Originally Posted by 20062007
As long as I'm still far away from physical capability issues I feel relieved and, yes, I can and will put piano over starting a family etc; if you work a 8 hr job, not going to be much of a stretch to play 3-4 hrs daily I assume.


I think an important question one needs to ask is why one wants to play the piano and why finding time to practice and staying in shape constitute a worry for you. What is your goal? Is it certain pieces you dream of learning? Do you want to eventually play concerts? Priorities change. I find that after one's twenties, there is a much increased need (or is it awareness of the need?) for rest and space and time to recharge, physically and mentally. When I was 21 I could conceive of working an 8-hour job and then practicing 4 hours in the evening; now I see it's a stretch. I could conceive of putting piano over family, now I am totally meh about the expectations of being a performer and would gladly give it all up to play for free in small circles for friends, family, strangers on the street who have never heard classical music, or a baby (and practice for it like I would for a debut in Wigmore Hall, because it is actually more meaningful), and I would rather have enough time to sleep well, read, take walks, and practice other aspects of being a musician. And I don't think my playing is any worse because of it- in some ways at least it might have gotten better.


"Love has to be the starting point- love of music. It is one of my firmest convictions that love always produces some knowledge, while knowledge only rarely produces something similar to love."
Arthur Schnabel

Re: Is it hard to restore technical abilities?
20062007 #2923086 12/15/19 10:44 AM
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Dear OP, you are blaspheming against the piano gods by not worshipping 24/7 for life. How dare you sully this great temple we have constructed with our sweat and finger exercises! grin grin grin

The OP (alone) knows what's going to work for the next few years.

Re: Is it hard to restore technical abilities?
20062007 #2923344 12/16/19 03:06 AM
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I know a lady who had almost given up on piano playing. She took lessons years ago and made it to an RCM 10 level. She moved into a small apartment and spent her time finishing her university degree. It was inconvenient to move the upright that was part of the family into her new home so she ended up with an 88-keyboard.

After a decade of hibernation she is working on Franz Liszt Liebestraum. I don't think it is necessary to start with an easy Bach Minuet from the "Notebook for Anna M" and work her way up except as warm-up pieces. I've never heard her play so I have to accept her claim of her playing abilities at face value.

I worked on a waltz (about 4m long) over a year ago. I took it out recently and it took less than a week to relearn the different sections. Even when I'm busy, I'd use my breaks in between to play music instead of sitting in front of the TV. Even during your studies, there is no reason not to practice once in a while when you have time like during the Christmas or summer breaks.

Re: Is it hard to restore technical abilities?
20062007 #2954441 03/05/20 12:45 PM
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How difficult is it to find time for 30 minutes practice a day? Or even 20 minutes a day if you are really busy with your other studies (I guess you are going to medical school or something like that)? That should be enough to at least maintain some of your repertoire

Last edited by 3am_stargazing; 03/05/20 12:46 PM.

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Re: Is it hard to restore technical abilities?
20062007 #2954523 03/05/20 05:20 PM
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Originally Posted by 20062007
Ok - could be a defining piece of advice. Although concert pianists do look a lot clumsier when they hit 60s or 70s - this is what I've found most disconcerting.


Have you ever seen Colette Maze?


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: Is it hard to restore technical abilities?
20062007 #2955292 03/08/20 03:50 AM
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FWIW: I was at an advanced level when I stopped in my teens. Now I'm picking back up two decades later. I do not get to practice as much or as consistently as when I was young of course. These are the things I've seen or learned so far:
-high intermediate pieces were not difficult to pick up and learn and I got more joy than I thought I would just from the sense of accomplishing learning a piece. There are a lot of beautiful pieces that I had not had a chance to explore while going through a graded exam system. There's a lot to be said for feeling a sense of accomplishment rather than beating my head against a wall for trying to pick back up at the level I left off
-memory is much, much more difficult than when I was young
-even ten minutes of practice a day helped to keep what I had learned from the previous practice. It was much better to practice even ten minutes a day than to go 6 days without playing and then play for an hour on day 7

If I could do it all over again I would have been consistent with practicing daily in small increments rather than giving it all up because I couldn't/did not want to commit to long practices anymore.
My previous teacher once said that it would take at least a year of consistent dedicated practice to get back to the level you had left off at. I haven't done this yet so I don't know if it's true but I'd like to think it's possible.
Also I'm skeptical about the technical abilities and things in general plummeting after mid 20s? For hobbies with physical demands I can see why that would be the case but I'd like to think that's not true for an instrument. If anything I think the joy that I get from doing this now purely for myself, rather than to achieve a certain mark on an exam, or doing recitals/competitions gives me more motivation now than when I was young.

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