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SOMETIMES IT'S A CHORE
#3015994 08/20/20 05:09 PM
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For years I would practice every day and enjoyed it. In those years, sometimes it became a chore to me and I'd blow it off; sometimes for 2 or 3 days. I tried practicing every other day for about 2/3 weeks, but that didn't really help. Lately I've been forcing myself to practice in the hope that this is just a phase and I'll get over it. Don't know why this happens, burn out- maybe? What I'd really like to do is stop playing for a month or 2, but fear I'd forget my repertoire and I worked hard to get it. Does this happen to you, and if so, what do you do about it? Thanks in advance for all responses.

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Re: SOMETIMES IT'S A CHORE
MICHAEL122 #3015999 08/20/20 05:13 PM
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I don’t force myself. Sometimes I won’t feel like playing for 6 or 7 days. In that case, I take the time off. I come back better and my mind is fresher to learn new material.


Kawai K-500
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Re: SOMETIMES IT'S A CHORE
MICHAEL122 #3016005 08/20/20 05:32 PM
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Instead of practicing, just play. Something different/easier than what you would normally play. Works for me...

Sam

Re: SOMETIMES IT'S A CHORE
MICHAEL122 #3016011 08/20/20 05:42 PM
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What is your level? Are you taking lessons? Do you love or like the pieces you are learning?

Re: SOMETIMES IT'S A CHORE
MICHAEL122 #3016047 08/20/20 06:33 PM
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Take a break if you need to. At your level getting your repertoire back after a month or two must not be a problem.

Sometimes it's a repertoire that causes burn out. Probably you need to put it aside and start a new piano life. wink
Take it easy, repertoire comes, repertoire goes. smile

Re: SOMETIMES IT'S A CHORE
MICHAEL122 #3016059 08/20/20 07:03 PM
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Practice = fun = play = enjoy (= de-stress = relax). Or not.

Every pianist past the elementary level should have one or more (or - preferably - all) of the below:

1) A few nice pieces he/she can always play (from memory or otherwise) and enjoy without stress. Just like eating cookies (or chocolate, or ice cream, or a juicy steak smirk ).

2) Just sit down at the piano and play by ear and/or improvise something, anything, for fun. Remember, there are no wrong notes in improv........

3) Sight-read (or read) through a collection of easy fun stuff - anything from easy classics to pop arrangements to themes from the movies or musicals or the Great American Songbook. Have a box or folder in which you chuck in sheet music that you come across (or begged, borrowed or stolen) which looks easy and appealing, for that rainy day when you don't want to immerse yourself into practicing the Hammerklavier, and just want to relax with nice tunes and harmonies.
(I've a big collection of these, dating back to my student days when I could only afford to buy cheap sheet music at sale prices, therefore I couldn't be too choosy - everything from sentimental salon Victoriana stuff beloved by the, er, Victorians on their parlour uprights to Gottschalk & ragtime to arrangements of waltzes & polkas and ballet and folk tune. Playing through them is like a relaxing amble in the countryside for a runner who decides to have a rest day from training........) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YsCTAKqOIu8

Even established concert pianists have their fun thumb: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y9U69MR0-1E


"I don't play accurately - anyone can play accurately - but I play with wonderful expression. As far as the piano is concerned, sentiment is my forte. I keep science for Life."
Re: SOMETIMES IT'S A CHORE
bennevis #3016078 08/20/20 07:48 PM
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Originally Posted by bennevis
Have a box or folder in which you chuck in sheet music that you come across (or begged, borrowed or stolen)
laugh

+ Have a book of death with names of those who have stolen your sheet music.

laugh

Re: SOMETIMES IT'S A CHORE
MICHAEL122 #3016083 08/20/20 08:09 PM
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If piano is your profession, well then, I don't know what to tell you. I'm gonna assume even professional musicians go through slumps at some point, but I'm sure someone passionate enough about music will find something enjoyable to do with it.

If piano is a hobby, then certainly it doesn't make sense to have to force yourself to do anything. It's supposed to be enjoyable, that's the whole point. Like with any skill/practice based hobby, taking a short break isn't going to kill your progress. Even if you do get a little rusty with your repertoire, it's not going to take much effort to refresh.

If you still want to play the piano during your "break", you could also try switching things up a bit and playing something different. Maybe try a little jazz or some pop covers if you've only been practicing classical pieces. Maybe minimize the hand and scale exercises and just play songs.

Bottom line is you shouldn't ever feel cornered into doing something you don't enjoy.

Re: SOMETIMES IT'S A CHORE
MICHAEL122 #3016153 08/21/20 03:42 AM
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take the two months off and review, you might find it isn't as bad as you think to allow your repertoire to slip, and you might feel the benefit.

The other solution is to start learning that new piece that gets you up an hour earlier in the morning to race to the piano.


Following Trying to follow the Ling Ling 40 hour method

Kawai K8 & Kawai Novus NV10


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Re: SOMETIMES IT'S A CHORE
MICHAEL122 #3016155 08/21/20 03:50 AM
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Ive been off the piano for 20 years until last year. Yes i forgotten most of my repertoir if not all. But relearning the one i wanted was not so difficult as I thought. And after a year Im back and probably been good back for last 7-10 month.
So piano is a bit like learning how to bike. But yes. Your repertoir truly will fade...

Re: SOMETIMES IT'S A CHORE
MICHAEL122 #3016171 08/21/20 05:11 AM
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practice = fun = play = enjoy (= de-stress = relax). Or not.

I think that’s worth repeating. Piano shouldn’t be something you feel you HAVE to do. If it is then it’s causing stress. You should enjoy your time at the piano. If your not, I’m not saying quit but maybe look at what would make it more enjoyable. Or, maybe look at an aspect of playing that you enjoy most and concentrate on it.

For example I know several players who enjoy improvising at the piano MORE than practicing say scales or transpositions, etc. For those folks I say then spend more time improvising.


TH
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Re: SOMETIMES IT'S A CHORE
MICHAEL122 #3016398 08/21/20 04:45 PM
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Thanks for this, you guys! It was insightful. After reading these comments, thinking of taking a couple days off, then fart around with improvisation. Never done that, and it appeals to me. Also thinking about re-visiting a couple pieces from long ago that were most enjoyable and slipped into the mists of time. Thanks again everybody; your advice gave me the sense that I'm not the first one to have this concern. I found it to be warming, sincere, and helpful.

Re: SOMETIMES IT'S A CHORE
MICHAEL122 #3016505 08/22/20 12:11 AM
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Let us know what you decide to do and how your progressing. I quit for awhile because I was taking in pieces that were just way over my abilities and that led to frustration.

But I shouldn’t have let that kill my joy for piano. There were so many other things I could have played or I could have simplified some of the pieces I was not ready for to keep my interest. But, alas, I let the frustration get to me which took me away from playing for longer than it should have.


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Re: SOMETIMES IT'S A CHORE
MICHAEL122 #3016514 08/22/20 01:42 AM
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Yes good decision. Take a short break or do stuff you like instead. But also. Get back after a while even if you dont like it in your mind yet. Just to see if you enjoy it.

Re: SOMETIMES IT'S A CHORE
Terry Michael #3016746 08/22/20 04:14 PM
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Terry writes, "I quit for awhile because I was taking in pieces that were just way over my abilities and that led to frustration.". So glad he said that; thought I was the only one in the whole world for whom that would be true! I avoid taking on pieces over my head for just exactly, and only, that reason. Always craft pieces working up to something I'd really like to perform, but this takes me so long to get to the one. Pondering that this facet is contributory to wanting to take an extended break. Actually fooled around with the ivories yesterday after reading this thread. It really helped, you guys. I'm not kidding and kind of surprised.

Re: SOMETIMES IT'S A CHORE
bennevis #3019661 08/31/20 05:11 AM
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Originally Posted by bennevis
Practice = fun = play = enjoy (= de-stress = relax). Or not.
I always wondered how this is possible.
To me, playing a musical instrument is like an advanced sport. Everything needs to run at 110%, the slightest slip in concentration for even the briefest of moments leads to a trainwreck etc.

Is it impossible to enjoy playing as a beginner (rougly 2 years now)?


The backbone of modern industrial society is, and for the foreseeable future will be, the use of electrical Power.
VPC 1 -> Pianoteq 7 Std | Garritan CFX / Pearl Alto Flute 201
Re: SOMETIMES IT'S A CHORE
Granyala #3019665 08/31/20 05:38 AM
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Originally Posted by Granyala
Originally Posted by bennevis
Practice = fun = play = enjoy (= de-stress = relax). Or not.
I always wondered how this is possible.
To me, playing a musical instrument is like an advanced sport. Everything needs to run at 110%, the slightest slip in concentration for even the briefest of moments leads to a trainwreck etc.

Is it impossible to enjoy playing as a beginner (rougly 2 years now)?
Yes, I think so. I'd never have stuck with it if it wasn't.
If I remember correctly you mentioned this on another thread and I think it must be very frustrating for you. It would probably be helpful to start a thread of your own here on ABF so that you can explain more of what you are doing, hoping to achieve etc. and ask for advice based on your own circumstances.


regards
Pete
Re: SOMETIMES IT'S A CHORE
Granyala #3019670 08/31/20 06:07 AM
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Originally Posted by Granyala
Originally Posted by bennevis
Practice = fun = play = enjoy (= de-stress = relax). Or not.
I always wondered how this is possible.
To me, playing a musical instrument is like an advanced sport. Everything needs to run at 110%, the slightest slip in concentration for even the briefest of moments leads to a trainwreck etc.

Is it impossible to enjoy playing as a beginner (rougly 2 years now)?
It's not only possible; it's imperative - without enjoyment, it becomes a chore and is then discarded, like so many other non-essential chores (like tidying up.....which is why my home is disorganized chaos (which I attribute to the Butterfly Effect cool), and the only person who knows where everything is - some of the time - me).

BTW, I'm into advanced sport: I've run several marathons and mountain races (including the Everest Marathon), and I've climbed many high mountains around the world (including E). There's time for enjoyment even in the midst of suffering ("Alpinism is the art of suffering" - Wojciech Kurtyka), in the pursuit of a goal, not to mention the vistas along the way, the satisfaction of successfully solving complex problems requiring great concentration etc.

Learning the piano is no different: there are skills to master, problems to solve and enjoyment to be had along the way even in the midst of 'work' (i.e. dedicated practicing). Enjoyment from hearing good music emanating from one's own efforts, enjoyment from just playing something appealing by ear (which can be a tune you've heard from a TV commercial, for example) and turning it into something more substantial, enjoyment from sight-reading something by a great composer (who composed it as a kid, like little Wolfie) - all that within a few weeks of starting lessons.

Which is about the same time it takes for a couch potato to start enjoying running in the great outdoors, smelling the flowers, watching the birds and the bees (and the grizzlies and the leopards, depending on where you live wink ) and the exhilaration of feeling the wind in his/her hair. But the beginner on piano can already have the satisfaction of mastering completely new skills even in the very first lesson, which the beginner runner doesn't......


"I don't play accurately - anyone can play accurately - but I play with wonderful expression. As far as the piano is concerned, sentiment is my forte. I keep science for Life."
Re: SOMETIMES IT'S A CHORE
Granyala #3019694 08/31/20 07:11 AM
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Originally Posted by Granyala
Originally Posted by bennevis
Practice = fun = play = enjoy (= de-stress = relax). Or not.
I always wondered how this is possible.
To me, playing a musical instrument is like an advanced sport. Everything needs to run at 110%, the slightest slip in concentration for even the briefest of moments leads to a trainwreck etc.

Is it impossible to enjoy playing as a beginner (rougly 2 years now)?

I'm not going to tell you how to approach learning an instrument, but I doubt that you will ever get enjoyment out of the piano this way. I enjoyed playing from the first moment on. I'm not trying to be a professional, this is a hobby that I picked up to have some relaxing times. If I make mistakes, whatever, I just start over. Sometimes I get frustrated, but then I just stop playing for the day and try again tomorrow.

What you are trying to achieve is impossible for an amateur und most likely for most professionals exept a few wonder childs. If you want to advance you will alway learn new pieces that you can't just play outright but will have to work for them with lot's and lot's of tries and mistakes. Running on 110% all the time is impossible, if that is your goal, dissapointment is what you will get.

Re: SOMETIMES IT'S A CHORE
petebfrance #3019744 08/31/20 09:42 AM
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Originally Posted by petebfrance
If I remember correctly you mentioned this on another thread and I think it must be very frustrating for you. It would probably be helpful to start a thread of your own here on ABF so that you can explain more of what you are doing, hoping to achieve etc. and ask for advice based on your own circumstances.

Hmm.. maybe you're right.
Will do when I find the time to gather my thoughts enough to present them in a coherent way that makes sense to people.

Thanks for the responses so far.


The backbone of modern industrial society is, and for the foreseeable future will be, the use of electrical Power.
VPC 1 -> Pianoteq 7 Std | Garritan CFX / Pearl Alto Flute 201
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