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Sam S Offline OP
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I am having phone lessons with my university professor, so we are doing a lot of talking. I only have 3 more lessons with her, wrapping up my last semester. Yesterday she asked me to list my strengths and weaknesses for the next lesson.

I can list my current technical weaknesses, but she is after a more high-level answer.

I'll go first...

My strengths:
- I am goal oriented. I like to have a goal and work to complete it.
- I have a practice habit. Every day I am practicing and working.
- I am self reliant. I don't have to be told what to do. I can solve my own problems.
- I am old!

My weaknesses:
- I am slow to learn new pieces - it takes a lot of repeated drilling and practicing.
- My memory is unreliable - now that my college career is over I will probably stop memorizing except for small passages.
- My playing is never error free. No matter how much I prepare, mistakes happen.
- I am old!

So what are your strengths and weaknesses?

Sam

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That sounds exactly like me Sam. My goal is a bit vague, really it is once I select a piece, my goal is to play it well enough I will enjoy listening to what I play.

I don't like too much pressure so I'll never sign up to a degree course even if I could reach a level i would be accepted at.

I am less old, but still old enough to draw on experience and suffer a few of the ravages of age.

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Well, just look at my username. grin

Kidding aside, here is my list:

Strengths
- I like to set and reach goals
- I’m determined
- I’m good with figuring things out on my own, like how to practice effectively for the goals I want to achieve
- my teacher says I have a good memory (I’m not sure I agree with this)
- I’m detail-oriented
- I’m very analytical
- I ask lots of questions of my teacher

Weaknesses
- my left hand - it’s weak
- I’m moody - I sometimes skip practices if “I’m not in the mood”
- I also have a tendency to miss lessons (often)
- I don’t have a consistent practice schedule
- I get disappointed and frustrated with myself easily
- I can be too goal-oriented, too analytical and too detail-oriented
- I have brain fog days, sometimes every day, and then it clears up

Last edited by WeakLeftHand; 04/07/20 12:39 PM.

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Strength: I know the sounds I want to play from decades of playing guitar, bass, and studying music.

Weakness: I am jurassic in age and just now starting piano so fingers are so cooperative.

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Once I learned a piece, I can repeat it 100x before trying a new piece. Learning to play 1 piece to perfection is something I'd do instead of trying all sorts of new pieces.

Once met a man who learned to play the 1 piece he always wanted by video demos and would only play that piece. He mastered several other pieces by ear but building a big repertoire is not his goal in life.

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Originally Posted by WeakLeftHand
Weaknesses
- my left hand - it’s weak

I'm afraid you might just aggravate the problem by thinking about it this way.

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Strengths:

  • I love the music I play
  • Good memory for sound, so I relatively easily discover my own mistakes
  • Lots of willpower


Weaknesses:

  • My conscious mind interferes too much, thereby screwing my playing up
  • Sight reading is slow ... virtually Tai Chi level
  • Too many other interests vying for my attention
  • Full-time employment (which doesn't involve piano at all)


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Funny you did this, Sam. I was going to do the same.

My strength (yes; just one) must be that I just love playing. maybe some o' that comes through at the cost of accuracy tempo and just about eveything else.
Bad bits. I have the concentration levels of a gnat, and easily tire of a piece having nearly learnt it but unfortunately not recorded it. it is unbelievably hard to get that last bit done. i'm also a very slow reader, and getting worse not better.


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Originally Posted by QuasiUnaFantasia
Strengths:

  • I love the music I play
  • Good memory for sound, so I relatively easily discover my own mistakes
  • Lots of willpower


Weaknesses:

  • My conscious mind interferes too much, thereby screwing my playing up
  • Sight reading is slow ... virtually Tai Chi level
  • Too many other interests vying for my attention
  • Full-time employment (which doesn't involve piano at all)


Well, I would think full time employment is a strength (not a weakness) these days! wink I’m grateful I’m still fully employed.

Last edited by WeakLeftHand; 04/07/20 06:20 PM.

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Originally Posted by Iaroslav Vasiliev
Originally Posted by WeakLeftHand
Weaknesses
- my left hand - it’s weak

I'm afraid you might just aggravate the problem by thinking about it this way.


How so? Currently I spend twice the time on my left hand during technical exercises such as scales, in an effort to improve its agility and strength. And yet, it has not caught up with the strength and agility of my right hand. I don’t think they will ever be the same, however.


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Here is mine:

1. Finally fulfilling a dream as an adult, knowing life can throw me another curve: I have an inner drive to learn;
2. Wiser now to know what brings me joy and hence don’t waste time on things/people that no longer support my ‘joy focused life’;

Weakness
1. My tenacity to learn means I can get distracted with new project; eg last few weeks spent learning To make sourdough starter and successfully became a baker with loaf #3 this morning, which was gifted to my MIL...the loaf was a beauty
2. Sometimes want to move on faster on a piece when I really need to do more repetitive loops and quarantine of troublesome measures [I am getting better at this though]


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Apart from annoying but non life threatening health issues,

for example I can go days where I get fatigue when concentrating,

to the point I no longer read fiction books, I have to get them on audio tape,

or I’m watching a very interesting YouTube vid on something to do with one of my hobbies (electronics or Pianos/synths mainly) and 2 mins into the vid I’m totally engrossed and taking it in, the next thing I know, one of my dogs wakes me up and I’ve been asleep for a couple of hours or more,

My health problems cause me to often only manage to practice say scales or a piece I know, and many days I only manage between 3 and 5 mins, but I joined the MOYD group this year and so far I’ve only missed one day.

All that aside, the things I’ve begun to notice recently is that due to practicing every day

Strength:
I can play my major scales much better, faster and confidently than I could 5 months ago

weakness:

this happens to all things I play but is more noticeable in things like scales,

It sort of feels like there must be something disconnected in my brain because no matter how much I try, how slow I play, while I’m 100% sure say when playing a scale that my left hand is hitting the notes at exactly the same time as my right, I can hear a tiny delay, hard to explain, it’s as though I’m hitting the notes with my right hand very very very slightly before I’m hitting the notes with my left hand.

The result is that I can hear the left hand being constantly behind the right. I’m talking nano seconds behind, an almost immeasurable amount, but an amount that sticks out a mile to me.


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I have a bunch of lower level ones, but here are a couple biggies.


Strength:
I like practice and I keep doing it because there is magic when I can do something that I couldn't do before. (And this magic is good.)

Weakness:
Don't feel any connection to the audience when I perform. If it isn't going well, I feel embarrassed and if it is going relatively well I feel self indulgent.


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Strength : Perfectionist.

Weakness : Perfectionist.

:-)

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Strength, I had great teachers as a teen. They disagreed on how to teach but they all knew their stuff. 40 years later I am beginning to understand what they were teaching. My current teacher is also great and I understand her clearly.

Weakness, I gave it up for 37 years.

Chances are I waited too long to restart. But even if I never become a good player I am absolutely sure I will be a better player than I am today.


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Originally Posted by WeakLeftHand
Originally Posted by Iaroslav Vasiliev
Originally Posted by WeakLeftHand
Weaknesses
- my left hand - it’s weak

I'm afraid you might just aggravate the problem by thinking about it this way.

How so? Currently I spend twice the time on my left hand during technical exercises such as scales, in an effort to improve its agility and strength. And yet, it has not caught up with the strength and agility of my right hand. I don’t think they will ever be the same, however.

Yes, it's not weak by itself, it's just not trained enough, and soon it will be.

The left hand can practically never become equal in strength with the right (dominant) hand, but it's not very difficult to make it strong enough to play piano well. I mean don't obsess over it, it will be fine.


Edit: In fact it may even be advantageous to have left hand underdeveloped up to some point in time, because in this case you naturally play accompaniment in the left hand softer than melody in the right hand and it becomes habitual. smile

Last edited by Iaroslav Vasiliev; 04/08/20 01:21 AM.
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Strengths:

A seemingly endless supply of musical ideas in improvisation and the good luck to still have sufficient technique to play them all at seventy-two.
Extreme, joyful drive and discipline to play and create, i.e. motivation - just made the 500th hour of recorded improvisation since my retirement.
A very eclectic musical exposure over almost seventy years.
I think I am an acute listener, or at least a much better one than I used to believe.

Weaknesses:

A dead loss at many normally accepted and measurable musical skills. I do not understand them. To avoid embarrassment I shan't enumerate these.
Technically, a tendency to play too heavily when I get excited, which has led to injury in the past; a difficult fault to correct but I am working on it with reasonable success.
Very lazy these days when it comes to written composition or playing pieces other than my own. I can do it but I just can't be bothered any longer, so most of my limited repertoire has grown sloppy.


"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 wasn't going to play but what the heck, and in no particular order:

Strengths
I am pretty good at being orgainised, so quite self reliant
I have goals but I am not ruled by them
I am very inquisitive and love learning about music
I have more time than most (but also very busy being retired smirk)
I only need small victories to be satisfied


Weaknesses
I haven't yet found playing, for playing sake, to be enjoyable
I used to be bad at picking piano teachers
I can be easily distracted from practicing (like right now)
Not a good sight-reader
Pieces seem to take forever to get to my acceptable standard


Surprisingly easy, barely an inconvenience.

Kawai K8 & Kawai Novus NV10


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Strengths: Memorisation ability. Half-decent ear.
Weaknesses: Pretty much everything else.


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Strengths
Decent ear
Consistent practice habit
Good theoretical foundation
Reasonably patient with myself
Reasonable aware of and appreciative of small gains
Can set and work towards goals independently, without becoming overly driven by them

Weaknesses
Sl-o-o-ow sightreader
Not dexterous in general => not dexterous at the piano
Focus can be poor
Error prone
Tendency to work on what I like working on, how I like working on it, even when I know it is sub-optimal


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