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Granyala's Q&A regarding practice frustration and patience
#3021966 09/06/20 11:37 AM
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Good evening, ladies and gentlemen.
I have a few questions rattling in the back of my head for a while now and, so far, I could not find satisfactory answers.
One of the questions I have already posed in another thread, whereas I was encouraged to create a topic of my own for the purpose of extended analysis. So I gathered my thoughts (and my courage) and created this topic.

As a preamble, a bit about myself.
I am 35 years of age, started piano lessons 2 years ago after doodling around on an ancient keyboard (yuck) for half a year. I play a VST setup of Garritan/Pianoteq with a VPC-1. I play purely for my own enjoyment (if that ever happens) and have no illusions of grandeur of impressing anyone in this life.

Pieces I have “learned” so far:
Detroit become human – Little One Kara
Very first piece, started before my lessons. Made some very critical mistakes regarding constant fingering, currently intentionally forgotten.

Beethoven Moonshine Sonata 1st movement
Second piece (first movement only, for obvious reasons laugh ). When I played the first few chords, my teacher smiled at me “Do you want to learn that”. I can “play” it but the error rate is pretty annoying. Also the first half hurts my hands, teacher says I do not distribute my body weight enough, working on it. Took me 6 months to learn, I play it every day since then to keep it fresh, because this is one of the pieces that made me want to learn the piano.

Xenoblade 2 – Leftherian Archipelago
Third piece. A video game soundtrack I adore. Speed is completely out of the question. Some passages worked well, others remained in experimental stage. Currently in memory limbo, would probably need to learn it again.

Final Fantasy VII – Succession of Witches
4th piece. Another video game soundtrack I love. Some passages work fairly well, others are… umm beyond me. I’m keeping this current, playing it every 2-3 days but right now I lack the ability to bring some passages out of experimental stage.

simplified version of Aerith’s theme from Final Fantasy VII
5th piece, and to be frank: the one that currently causes the most frustration. I can play it but never w/o my hands doing stupid stuff. Compared to the other pieces this should be easy, no?

Other pieces: Preludium from Bach. Easy to play but stupid brain just doesn’t deliver the data fast and fluidly enough. Ugh. Played it a hundred times. Doesn't get any better.

The first question in question: *chuckles*
1. How can piano practice be enjoyed or even be perceived as relaxing?
Original topic: http://forum.pianoworld.com/ubbthreads.php/topics/3019661/re-sometimes-its-a-chore.html#Post3019661
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 train wreck etc.
Is it impossible to enjoy playing as a beginner (roughly 2 years now)?

I did get a few answers but I do believe people misunderstood my intentions (especially @FloRi89).
I do not expect a piece or my playing to be at 110%. I am not a professional, I am a beginner, so I am aware that this is completely unrealistic. What I meant is that >I< have to be at 110% to get through it (in a rough way and with mistakes). That makes it virtually impossible to “relax”, it makes it impossible to play with emotion too, because as soon as I try to do that -> concentration slips and off the rails I go. laugh
The other part is, that no matter how often I play a piece, I NEVER feel … well, safe. Or comfortable with it. It’s always a struggle, my hands basically always slip up. That makes “playing” the piano pretty much impossible. For me, it’s always practice. I simply can’t sit down and play a piece I deem easy and enjoy it because I do not have such a piece.

2. How do I keep stuff in my head?
This is another point of major frustration for me. We spend a lot of time learning our pieces and they fall out of memory so ridiculously easily. Since I have no reference in terms of other piano mates that learn with me and share the struggle, I have to ask: is this normal? Sometimes it feels that whenever I learn a few notes of a new piece, half a dozen notes of an old one just fall off the wagon. ._.

3. How do you guys deal with the “stupidity” of your hands?
Music is pretty straight forward on a cognitive level, is it not? If you can solve differential equations, reading musical notation and understanding the principles behind it is not hard. Tedious and a huge strain on the eyes but not in itself difficult. So, especially with pieces that are simple in nature, the brain “gets it” quickly and then you need to wait for the body to catch up. How do you keep your patience with yourself? Is there some hidden magic? Can you order patience on Ebay? I don’t know I guess I see myself as a machine that is supposed to function and I constantly ask myself: why? Why can’t you execute this simple movement pattern? Why can’t you remember this thing you did 100x already?

Oof… sorry this got way longer than I intended. Maybe I’m already getting old and start being prone to rambling. Thanks in advance to whomever reads all that and even more thanks for any insight you could share. If you deem it necessary for further diagnosis (or your amusement), I can provide records of my "playing".

Last edited by Granyala; 09/06/20 11:40 AM.

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Re: Granyala's Q&A regarding practice frustration and patience
Granyala #3021971 09/06/20 11:50 AM
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Hi Granyala...

This answer is for your question #1..."How can piano practice be enjoyed or even be perceived as relaxing?"

Basic answer: Go Slower. As in real slow.

I have taught literally hundreds of students, and 100% play too fast. As in fast at the very ragged edge (or beyond) of their ability.

It is like driving your car at 150 miles per hour while in town...chances of an accident are high, and there is no brain power left over to play musically, enjoy the scenery, etc, because you are just hanging on, in fear, hoping not to crash.

When asked to slow down, at least 50% of my students will play at the very same fast speed; and some play even faster! (Because playing that piece too fast (for them) is what they have practiced...you always get what you practice)

Few actually go slow enough to make a difference, and most will then revert to the top speed.

I am not saying that you play too fast...just that it is super common, and causes the problem(s) you write about.

ps...most people have "practiced in" playing too fast w/its associated errors, so I always have them start clean with a a new piece that is a bit below their level, and practice it slow, super slow, singing the melody, consciously relaxing their body, consciously smiling...

Hope this helps!


Piano teacher.
Re: Granyala's Q&A regarding practice frustration and patience
Granyala #3021983 09/06/20 12:03 PM
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Originally Posted by Granyala
>I< have to be at 110% to get through it (in a rough way and with mistakes). That makes it virtually impossible to “relax”, it makes it impossible to play with emotion too, because as soon as I try to do that -> concentration slips and off the rails I go. laugh
The other part is, that no matter how often I play a piece, I NEVER feel … well, safe. Or comfortable with it. It’s always a struggle, my hands basically always slip up. That makes “playing” the piano pretty much impossible. For me, it’s always practice. I simply can’t sit down and play a piece I deem easy and enjoy it because I do not have such a piece.

Hi Granyala!
I would like to give you my five cents on this one. I don't know most of the pieces that you practise, but Beethoven Moonshine Sonata 1st movement is a 5/6 grade level - way too difficult after only two years of lessons. I suspect your other pieces are just as difficult. No wonder you always need to be at 110%, no wonder you never feel safe, no wonder you cannot relax and enjoy playing a piece.

So my advice to you is to try to find much, much easier pieces, and focus on playing them as well as possible, focus on pouring your musicality and your soul in those pieces and see if this makes for a much more enjoyable practising. There are many lovely and exciting easy pieces out there - so try to find one that appeals to you, and give it a chance.


Playing the piano is learning to create, playfully and deeply seriously, our own music in the world.
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Re: Granyala's Q&A regarding practice frustration and patience
Granyala #3022000 09/06/20 12:26 PM
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Granyala - I enjoyed your post. smile I'm a bit ahead of you in my piano studies (mid to late-intermediate), but I share many of the frustrations you describe. That should tell you that (1) it's fairly normal; and (2) it's not all going to magically go away as your skills improve. Probably not what you wanted to hear!

Originally Posted by Granyala
What I meant is that >I< have to be at 110% to get through it (in a rough way and with mistakes). That makes it virtually impossible to “relax”, it makes it impossible to play with emotion too, because as soon as I try to do that -> concentration slips and off the rails I go. laugh

I would agree that this is probably an indication that you are playing pieces that are too difficult. It's good to push ourselves, but personally I don't find it enjoyable to be constantly struggling with hard pieces. It's helpful (especially for your confidence) if you work on some easier pieces too...stuff that's at a level where you don't have to be totally focused on the notes and you can start concentrating on being musical. That's where the real satisfaction comes into play (in my experience).


Originally Posted by Granyala
How do you keep your patience with yourself? Is there some hidden magic? Can you order patience on Ebay?

LOL...I asked my teacher the exact same question last year. Perhaps we can get a group discount for PW members if it ever goes on sale.


Originally Posted by Granyala
...I constantly ask myself: why? Why can’t you execute this simple movement pattern?

This is me frequently. "This seems so simple...WHY can't I manage it??" Sometimes there's a good answer (like I need to try a different approach). Most often it's just the dreaded "give it more time." If I'm getting frustrated, I need to do something else. That piece gets put away. Maybe just for the day or week, maybe until next year. You definitely don't want to be tense when you are practicing.

Is it possible you are on the "perfectionism spectrum" like myself? It sure can make learning the piano difficult sometimes. Feel free to send me a private message anytime you'd like to vent or commiserate. smile


I ❤️ Mendelssohn, Yann Tiersen, Heller
Re: Granyala's Q&A regarding practice frustration and patience
Granyala #3022006 09/06/20 12:37 PM
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It seems like you already got most of the answers. You are picking pieces way too difficult for you and therefore that requires all your concentration just to get the notes right. Thtat does not leave any room for enjoyment nor expression. If you wan to train to express emotion you need to pick pieces which are easy enough that the technique is not a bottleneck.

Then i would add that as you progress, things gets easier, at least some of them. It seems to me that, like many adult beginners, you are driven by progressing fast. You are frustrated that you do not progress faster because your expectations are too high. So indeed patience is the key. How do you get patient, that is a question i can not answer. I guess you have to reset your expectations. If you can manage to play well and enjoy what you are playing even if it is a stupid song, rather than a complicated piece by Bach or Beethoven, it will bring you more satisfaction than playing very poorly a difficult piece.

Now to be honnest, i sometimes struggle to play a difficult piece, and i would not say that it is relaxing, but more that it allows me to disconnect from my other day problems. And then overcoming the difficulty makes it rewarding.

Indeed if you can post your recordings, like the Bach or parts of Beethoven, that would be interesting.

Re: Granyala's Q&A regarding practice frustration and patience
Granyala #3022019 09/06/20 12:53 PM
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Hi Granyala, I'll try to read through your post and offer up questions/thoughts I have! (I'm only 22 so I'm not exactly a wise elder but I'll try to help!)

Originally Posted by Granyala
As a preamble, a bit about myself.
I am 35 years of age, started piano lessons 2 years ago after doodling around on an ancient keyboard (yuck) for half a year. I play a VST setup of Garritan/Pianoteq with a VPC-1. I play purely for my own enjoyment (if that ever happens) and have no illusions of grandeur of impressing anyone in this life.

First of all, what musical experience/background do you have, if any? My first thought while looking at the titles of the pieces you listed was either you're a quick learner and have good natural ability or you've dived in and are depending on muscle memory to play these pieces. Have you worked through exercises/technique/method books with your teacher or are you just playing pieces you enjoy/strive towards and mastering finger movements though those?

Originally Posted by Granyala
The first question in question: *chuckles*
1. How can piano practice be enjoyed or even be perceived as relaxing?

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 train wreck etc.
Is it impossible to enjoy playing as a beginner (roughly 2 years now)?

I did get a few answers but I do believe people misunderstood my intentions (especially @FloRi89).
I do not expect a piece or my playing to be at 110%. I am not a professional, I am a beginner, so I am aware that this is completely unrealistic. What I meant is that >I< have to be at 110% to get through it (in a rough way and with mistakes). That makes it virtually impossible to “relax”, it makes it impossible to play with emotion too, because as soon as I try to do that -> concentration slips and off the rails I go. laugh

The other part is, that no matter how often I play a piece, I NEVER feel … well, safe. Or comfortable with it. It’s always a struggle, my hands basically always slip up. That makes “playing” the piano pretty much impossible. For me, it’s always practice. I simply can’t sit down and play a piece I deem easy and enjoy it because I do not have such a piece.

Does this happen often when you are practicing? How fluent are you with reading music and processing all the necessary information at once? When you practice and make a mistake, do you restart a piece from the beginning and try to plough through it without making that mistake, or do you take note and hone in on what you need to work on (specific bars, patterns, dynamics?)

I think it's important not to beat yourself up about not playing something 100% perfect. However, the pieces you are learning are rather substantial so I understand your thought process here. It's important to aim for 100% when playing but you can't always put that pressure on yourself. If you get into a negative mindset about playing, it doesn't help you to relax and enjoy it!

Originally Posted by Granyala
2. How do I keep stuff in my head?
This is another point of major frustration for me. We spend a lot of time learning our pieces and they fall out of memory so ridiculously easily. Since I have no reference in terms of other piano mates that learn with me and share the struggle, I have to ask: is this normal? Sometimes it feels that whenever I learn a few notes of a new piece, half a dozen notes of an old one just fall off the wagon. ._.

Ok so your ulterior goal when you are playing is to be able play your pieces from memory?

Originally Posted by Granyala
3. How do you guys deal with the “stupidity” of your hands?
Music is pretty straight forward on a cognitive level, is it not? If you can solve differential equations, reading musical notation and understanding the principles behind it is not hard. Tedious and a huge strain on the eyes but not in itself difficult. So, especially with pieces that are simple in nature, the brain “gets it” quickly and then you need to wait for the body to catch up. How do you keep your patience with yourself? Is there some hidden magic? Can you order patience on Ebay? I don’t know I guess I see myself as a machine that is supposed to function and I constantly ask myself: why? Why can’t you execute this simple movement pattern? Why can’t you remember this thing you did 100x already?

Well I'm only a beginner and my hands are pretty stupid too crazy

Something that I can see from what you've written reminds me of my own situation with violin recently. What caused me an awful amount of frustration was the practical exams at university level. I was expected to learn two pieces and two studies for an end of year exam. That was all we did. I felt that the pieces were a little out of reach for the level I was comfortable at and I wasn't able to enjoy learning or performing then like I usually was. It damaged my confidence with playing a lot. I've taken a hiatus from playing violin for a while and focused on learning piano instead. Probably why I find piano relaxing to begin with. I'd be worried if you are pushing/forcing yourself to play music that you haven't build yourself up to be able to play it.

I'll never understand what it is like to learn music from scratch as an adult as I've been learning music since I was six year old. However, I can appreciate that it is difficult learning a new language system and oh my god are some scores really small! Reading and performing music uses different parts of your brain, mainly the area associated with numbers (I think)

From my experience playing violin for most of my life, it's always important for me to keep on moving forward if I can play something with minimal mistakes, then stepping back to review now and then. I always went back and started from the beginning with studies or pieces I was playing, building up my ability again and usually surprising myself with how well I could manage after a playing break. (Sometimes it did hurt though if there were pieces that I was not able to play as well as I used to, but I'm not a prodigy of a 'brilliant player' so smile. But it will come back at some point)

So back to piano, an example for Beyer exercises I'm doing, I'm focusing on the last 10 in a section to practice everyday along with the one I'm trying to work on at the moment. I will occasionally go back and review all of the book and 80% of the time, excercises I found difficult at the time I can play better than I did initially. Not the same situation as exercises and etudes are short and pieces are long but I hope you get the idea. It does help boost my confidence and I can see how I'm improving.

To finish, Rome wasn't built in a day. Every musician will have their own pace at improving, some more than others. No one here would want to see you be on the verge of quitting for the reasons and thoughts you mentioned.

Last edited by pianorla; 09/06/20 01:02 PM.

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Re: Granyala's Q&A regarding practice frustration and patience
Granyala #3022043 09/06/20 01:47 PM
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Originally Posted by Granyala
1. How can piano practice be enjoyed or even be perceived as relaxing?
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 train wreck etc.
Is it impossible to enjoy playing as a beginner (roughly 2 years now)?

2. How do I keep stuff in my head?
This is another point of major frustration for me. We spend a lot of time learning our pieces and they fall out of memory so ridiculously easily. Since I have no reference in terms of other piano mates that learn with me and share the struggle, I have to ask: is this normal? Sometimes it feels that whenever I learn a few notes of a new piece, half a dozen notes of an old one just fall off the wagon. ._.

These two points are interesting coming from your background. You're playing songs you picked right? They're all relatively relaxing video game OSTs (and moonlight). I'm assuming you find those pieces enjoyable and relaxing by themselves?

Are you thinking about every finger press and trying to remember the actual notes on the sheet? Playing a song is not like memorizing a script. I can't transcribe any of the pieces in my repertoire from memory. My hands just remembers the patterns once I start playing.

The more you think and stress about every note press, the more difficult things become. Like any physical training, the brain can't keep up. You're training the neuron reflex arc, not direct control. Rather than playing at 110%, you should turn your brain down to like 40% and let your hands take over.

I like Final Fantasy OSTs for relaxing. The more faithful version of the pieces are very repetitive, since they are meant to be played on loop as a background track. So I can just shut my brain off and just play. To Zanarkand from FFX is usually my go to song to relax when I need a break from practicing.

Originally Posted by Granyala
3. How do you guys deal with the “stupidity” of your hands?

And this is a similar thing, your brain can't control every aspect of your hands at the speeds it needs to to play music. I'm forgetting my neuroscience class for the specific scientific terms.

Your brain gives orders to your hands but the communication back and forth is slow. So if the brain needs to dictate every single detailed movement of the muscle fibers, it's very difficult. Instead the brain needs to give more broad orders that the hands know how to do themselves.

If the brain is a general, the muscles in the hand is like soldiers in an army (with the nerves being various commanding officers). If you're have the general give specific orders to every soldier in the army individually, it's going to feel like a very stupid and cumbersome army. So instead, you train them in all kinds of maneuvers. The general would then only have to give broad orders that then gets communicated out to the units to execute themselves.

Like with any training, things are going to start slow and uncoordinated. But as the soldiers train more and more and learn to work as a unit, the arm become a more disciplined and efficient army.

Last edited by rkzhao; 09/06/20 01:50 PM.
Re: Granyala's Q&A regarding practice frustration and patience
Granyala #3022052 09/06/20 01:51 PM
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Granyala - I echo what others have written. The repertoire which you've chosen, or which has chosen you, is too difficult for you RIGHT NOW.

I have started over at the piano several times in my life. The most recent was just after my 61st birthday which I celebrated by going to Germany to work with Peter Feuchtwanger in some of his master classes.

He adjusted my seating position; he adjusted how I placed my hands on the keys; he adjusted... well, several other things about my technique, and I'd already been a working professional for years. That was on Monday and Tuesday.

On Wednesday evening, we had our class recital in which he asked me to play. I was so concerned with HOW I was playing that I had a major memory slip in a piece I'd played half a dozen times in public. I improvised my way out of that glitch to a spot I could remember and finished the piece. What doesn't kill us makes us strong, but I digress.

The main point for you is that were you my student, I would ask for your patience and forbearance as we scaled your repertoire down to the simplest possible little pieces so that we could focus together on HOW you were playing them, and how you were practicing them. We'd work on getting certain movements, types of patterns to be completely automatic so that when faced with them in a more difficult context, rather than reading every note, you would grasp the entirety of a section as a single gestalt and know HOW to play it.

...and so on.

You CAN do it, learn to play the piano, that is, but it is a craft that demands patience and diligence. BTW - it's totally worth it. There's nothing like playing something so beautiful that it brings tears to your eyes as you make the sounds with your own hands the first time.


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Re: Granyala's Q&A regarding practice frustration and patience
Granyala #3022303 09/07/20 03:49 AM
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I can only reiterate Animisha's advise.

Having said that, Calavera seems to like to learn music from games like you do. You might reach out to them via DM and they may be able to point you at some simpler arrangements for some of the game music, that may still be a stretch for you but more achievable.

Good luck, and sadly I recognize too many of your frustrations which is likely an indication that I am also constantly picking music that is too hard.

Calvera's submission for the last recital

Last edited by KevinM; 09/07/20 03:50 AM.
Re: Granyala's Q&A regarding practice frustration and patience
Granyala #3022304 09/07/20 03:52 AM
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Well seems linke I misunderstood you initially. Language is complicated and flawed it seems. I can only tell you what I do, that might work for you, or not, but I’m not a teacher, so take it with caution:

1. I pick pieces on different levels. Currently I am around grade 3/4, so I will have a project piece I work on around grade 5/6, a regular piece around grade 3/4 and a whole bunch of things that are really easy for me to learn on grade 1/2. I also make sure the pieces aren’t all in the same state, to get variance there, too. That way I don’t have to be hyper focused all the time. I also make sure, to always play just for fun. Something that I play just for my enjoyment, something from my active repertoire most likely, or something fun from an app like Simply Piano.

2. I pick up to 10 pieces that I keep in the active repertoire. Every practice session I devote around 10min to play through 2 or 3 of them. That way I play each one at least once a week, for me that’s enough to keep them in active memory. Those are also the pieces I polish the most and sometimes I will drop an old one and add a new, more complex piece. I don’t look back at those, I can easily learn those again if I ever want, but usually those are pieces that I have outgrown.

3. Sorry, I can’t help you there. I have accepted that learning the piano is a marathon, it takes time. Things that were very hard a year ago are easy now. I do this just for fun, I don’t mind if it takes years. I make sure that every practice session is enjoyable, if something is currently to hard, for example because I underestimated it, I just let it rest for a while.

Re: Granyala's Q&A regarding practice frustration and patience
Granyala #3022335 09/07/20 06:03 AM
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1. How can piano practice be enjoyed or even be perceived as relaxing?
It must first be a solvable problem, then it must be solved. That's enjoyable and rewarding.

If you can "play" the Moonlight but the error rate is high you can't actually play it. If the error rate is high it's too difficult for you to play accurately enough and well enough. Time to stop building bad technique into it and let it rest for a few years. Listen to professional recordings of it instead.

You need to work on smaller, simpler pieces. Pieces that may not move you musically but will allow you to explore musical expression without breaking your technical ceiling.

Preludium from Bach. Easy to play but ...Trust me on this, if it's by Bach, it's not easy to play. Quoting Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman...Big mistake! Huge!

You may perceive it as easy to play but the training involved for that is long. Delivering that much data fast enough means being able to chunk more information into each datum so the speed of delivery is pereived as slow. You have to develop as a pianist so that each whole bar and the bar that follows can be processed in the blink of an eye and played at leisure while you're preparing the next one. This means learning to play the piano before you start playing the pieces you love.

2. How do I keep stuff in my head?
By starting small. Memorise a whole measure every day, or half a measure, or just a beat. If you do this every day you learn more patterns, allowing larger musical extracts to be memorised. If you want to retain music you have to practise recall. Playing something everyday keeps it in short term memory, from where it fades quickly. You have to catch it at the fading point and recall it deliberately. Each time you do this strengthens the recall ability. The more you struggle to recall it, the more pathways you build into that recall and the easier it gets next time. If you go back to the music instead and make it easier for yourself you lose the ability to recall it. Struggle first then go back to the music.

When you learn pieces you want to retain you must work in small sections, short enough that your practise for that day can be done from memory. When the section has been learnt, set it aside and move onto the next section. Do not link it it with the next section. Don't try to remember it. If you do then that section will work its way into finger memory before it has worked it's way into cognitive or explicit memory. When it's in finger memory you no longer have to struggle to recall it so you lose the ability to strengthen the recall pathways.

When you get back to the beginning your recall will be strong enough that you may be able to learn longer sections next time through. Even if you leave long periods between each relearning - as long as you continue to learn in sections no longer than you can hold in working memory. Not all your pieces should be learnt this way. Only the special ones that you want to retain.

3. How do you guys deal with the “stupidity” of your hands?
Recognise that your hands are only doing what your brain tells them. Piano playing is brain training, not finger training. Forget scale playing and technical drills until you have a technique worth training. Start small. Really small, really easy. Get the basics done. Small five finger pieces from early method books. Build the connection between brain and hands. Learn how to make it musical. Use small words and phrases that teach us how to express music. Then you'll be able to do more.

Read music every day. You don't have to play it at the instrument. You have to read it and hear it in your head. Start with nursery rhymes. Written music has to make sense to you as music not as data that has to be processed. You have to take in a chunk of music at a glance, make sense of it and reproduce it at the instrument while you're taking in the next chunk. This comes slowly. You can't do it learning the pieces you want to play. You start with small easy pieces that you can spend a week on then move on.

Regarding playing with emotion. You need to express emotion. Feel it when you first get to know the piece but when it comes to playing it you need to express the emotion not feel it. Feel it when you're singing it to yourself in your head away from the instrument but express it when playing it on the piano. Convey it to others when playing out loud.

...reading musical notation and understanding the principles behind it is not hard.
No, it's not hard but it takes a few years for most of us to be able to do the necessary with it by which time we're around Grade x. At some point the level of the pieces we're doing it with is quite high and learning the Moonlight sonata is an easy and achievable goal, error free and musically meaningful. And Fantasy pieces can be played by ear. But until that mechanism is built we have to keep the material easy so we can concentrate more on the process.

Essentially we are more limited than we realise and we have to tread lighter and slower. But that makes it easier to measure progress, build confidence and speed up the results. That's rewarding and enjoyable.


Richard
Re: Granyala's Q&A regarding practice frustration and patience
Granyala #3022343 09/07/20 06:27 AM
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By the way I do love the translation of `Mondscheinsonate` into Moonshine Sonata. A nicely literal translation which provides me with very different ideas from the intent.

Moonshine on Wikipedia

The usual translation is Moonlight Sonata.

I only wish I new a second language this well that this was the only kind of mistake I might make.

Re: Granyala's Q&A regarding practice frustration and patience
JB_PW #3022398 09/07/20 08:59 AM
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Do you remember when you were a child in the first grades of school and just beginning to read? If you were like most you probably struggled at first, reading one letter at a time and then one word at a time very slowly, and it took you a few years before you could read whole books for leisure. Well, it isn't much different with music. It just takes a lot of time, practicing very simple pieces at first, before you're fluent enough to play something for pleasure without having to worry about the mechanics.

Re: Granyala's Q&A regarding practice frustration and patience
KevinM #3022444 09/07/20 11:10 AM
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Oh boy, this thread is moving fast. Lots of feedback to consider. Will process and reply to it in time, thanks in advance!

Originally Posted by KevinM
By the way I do love the translation of `Mondscheinsonate` into Moonshine Sonata. A nicely literal translation which provides me with very different ideas from the intent.

Moonshine on Wikipedia

The usual translation is Moonlight Sonata.

I only wish I new a second language this well that this was the only kind of mistake I might make.
*chuckles* Now that you mention it...
Oh well, it fits the way I play it anyway but thanks for the hint. laugh
Thanks for the kind words, sir/madam. I am sure I make tons of mistakes.

Originally Posted by Sidokar
Indeed if you can post your recordings, like the Bach or parts of Beethoven, that would be interesting.
Well, you asked for it. Ye have been warned, what lies ahead is not for the faint of heart (or ears).

MoonLIGHT sonata laugh
I "listened" to a podcast while playing in order to distract myself from the "ERMAGAWD I AM RECORDING THIS!!11". Despite pianoteq recording everything, there mere conscious notion that I want to show this to strangers (that are way more skilled than I am) wreaks havoc on my error rate.

I thought this one went rather well.

Bach Praeludium
Tried to play it slower 3 times and the train crashed.... so this is a (ノ°Д°)ノ︵ ┻ ━ ┻ "I'm pissed, sod it!" attempt.
I am aware that I am incapable of maintaining the speed.

Aerith's theme (simple)
Hands were definitely tired, 4 attempts to sort of get through it. Rough, but I hope you get the picture.

What I have learned already:

I've never listened to my own playing until now (away from the piano that is).
Dear Lord, I'm horrified at the erratic tempo/rhythm. Never noticed it while playing.
I swear I was not and still am not drunk! :X

Originally Posted by Qazsedcft
Do you remember when you were a child in the first grades of school and just beginning to read? If you were like most you probably struggled at first, reading one letter at a time and then one word at a time very slowly, and it took you a few years before you could read whole books for leisure.
I could read before I got into School, so umm.. no. I do not remember struggling at all. Always thought school was rather boring.
Uni on the other hand... ugh.

I did start learning Japanese a month ago, so now I do experience how it is to decode Hiragana and Katakana rather slowly.
Such a lovely language. ♥

Last edited by Granyala; 09/07/20 11:13 AM.

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VPC 1 -> Pianoteq 7 Std | Garritan CFX / Pearl Alto Flute 201
Re: Granyala's Q&A regarding practice frustration and patience
Granyala #3022457 09/07/20 11:32 AM
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Hi, i tried to access to your recordings but i got a response that i need to ask for your authorisation, which i did !

Re: Granyala's Q&A regarding practice frustration and patience
Sidokar #3022470 09/07/20 11:57 AM
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Originally Posted by Sidokar
Hi, i tried to access to your recordings but i got a response that i need to ask for your authorisation, which i did !
It happened to me as well. Please change your settings. smile


Playing the piano is learning to create, playfully and deeply seriously, our own music in the world.
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... feeling like the pianist on the Titanic ...
Re: Granyala's Q&A regarding practice frustration and patience
Granyala #3022489 09/07/20 12:51 PM
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Hmm... should work now.
Or do I need to post new links?


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: Granyala's Q&A regarding practice frustration and patience
Granyala #3022490 09/07/20 12:53 PM
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I think you need to spend more time on technique. The more technical skills you have in your toolbox, the more relaxing piano becomes.

I don't want to start a flame war on Piano pedagogy & methodology so I'll just say piano technique is relatively easy to understand. Check out Neil Stannard's "Piano Technique Demystified." Focus on the preface, chapter 1 & chapter 2. He's describing practicing & rotational technique. If someone insists rotational methods are useless, ignore them for now. Instead learn the rotational insights Stannard discusses then read the rest of the book.

Is this the only technique you should try? Of course not. But you gotta start somwhere!


With new students Chopin was chiefly anxious to do away with any stiffness in, or cramped, or convulsive movement of the hand, thereby obtaining the first requisite of fine technique "souplesse" (suppleness). -- Carl Mikuli on Chopin the teacher.
Re: Granyala's Q&A regarding practice frustration and patience
Granyala #3022494 09/07/20 01:06 PM
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Granyala, your links work, and you play Beethoven beautifully!! But I can also hear the uncertainty.


Playing the piano is learning to create, playfully and deeply seriously, our own music in the world.
*
... feeling like the pianist on the Titanic ...
Re: Granyala's Q&A regarding practice frustration and patience
Granyala #3022499 09/07/20 01:33 PM
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Originally Posted by Granyala
Tried to play it slower 3 times and the train crashed.... so this is a (ノ°Д°)ノ︵ ┻ ━ ┻ "I'm pissed, sod it!" attempt.
I am aware that I am incapable of maintaining the speed.
...
I've never listened to my own playing until now (away from the piano that is).
Dear Lord, I'm horrified at the erratic tempo/rhythm. Never noticed it while playing.

Practice with a metronome, set slow to start with of course.

Originally Posted by Granyala
I swear I was not and still am not drunk! :X

Your sure you didn't have too much Moonshine? crazy

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