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Math The Reason I Gave Up Practice and then Rebooted?
#3030409 09/29/20 09:43 PM
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The reason may sound either very basic or very strange, but hopefully this helps at least a couple of those who feel like giving up.

The reason I hated piano practice was that I'm staunchly creative. Sounds strange. You would think a creative type would absolutely love piano playing, composing and whatever else. True.

But what is also true is that is a lot of creative folks (not all) hate or at least dislike math. I hated having to have one right answer to every equation. No opinion, no deviation, no expression. I saw music as the total anthesis because I enjoyed listening to it. But what I came to realize is that learning an instrument truly is so much like learning math. And obviously where there is no math there is no structure. Can't grasp algebra without getting a grip on basic arithmetic, and I can't perform a song without respect for practicing intervals, scales, chords, their inversions etc. -- the structure stuff. Once I gained respect for these "mundane" aspects as the building blocks of music, I started practicing more regularly.

Just my two cents. If it applies to you, great.


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Re: Math The Reason I Gave Up Practice and then Rebooted?
RhodesFanatic #3030424 09/29/20 11:09 PM
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Re: Math The Reason I Gave Up Practice and then Rebooted?
RhodesFanatic #3030443 09/30/20 12:28 AM
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The two are mostly disparate for me, mathematics concerning itself with external, objective truth, invariant over all brains, and music with internal, subjective truth whose meaning is heavily dependent on the personal listening brain. There are interesting applications of mathematics to piano playing, for example using groups and partitions to analyse chord types and their combinations, but they have little to do with whatever drives musical creation for me.


"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: Math The Reason I Gave Up Practice and then Rebooted?
RhodesFanatic #3030444 09/30/20 12:35 AM
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Actually mathematicians are very creative. They create things that were not there before. But math students at an elementary level are not in a position to define new mathematical objects or make conjectures. Students learn spelling and grammar before they can write a novel. With music, you don't need as much studies as maths to start composing. So why not write some music if you are feeling creative?

Re: Math The Reason I Gave Up Practice and then Rebooted?
RhodesFanatic #3030466 09/30/20 03:09 AM
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lol, this is like people wanting to be rich but not wanting to work.

Re: Math The Reason I Gave Up Practice and then Rebooted?
RhodesFanatic #3030469 09/30/20 03:16 AM
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I think the OP has, at least, glimpsed an important point. In addition to what wszxbcl said.... People who actually use "maths" (calculus, algebras, group theory etc) have incredible tools for creative problem solving. Scientists, engineers, economists - and, Unfortunately accountants - are tackling hard problems, and expressing some part of those problems in "maths" turbocharges ones ability to think and find answers. And, here's a dirty little secret; actually applying "maths" requires all sorts of trickery and creativity and is rarely a machine you can put a problem in at one end and get the answer out the other.

I can see the parallel with music. Having a pile of techniques and ideas under the belt provides the tools required to express ideas.

The difference, unfortunately, is that it's not that hard to provide kids with a fulfilling music playing experience... but notoriously hard to have fun with maths!

Last edited by mizmar; 09/30/20 03:20 AM.
Re: Math The Reason I Gave Up Practice and then Rebooted?
RhodesFanatic #3030554 09/30/20 12:27 PM
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That's very different from how I see math. To me, math is VERY creative. But, just like music, you need to have clear rules and fundamentals first, and then you can combine them in strange and creative ways to make something new. Just like math. Mathematicians at a high level see things incredibly creatively because that's how complex mathematical problems get solved. They see links between things that nobody saw before in order to make sense of previously unfathomable things. In certain ways, math is almost an expression of pure creativity, not the opposite.

To say math is rote because basic math is rote is like saying music is rote because scales are.

Re: Math The Reason I Gave Up Practice and then Rebooted?
TwoSnowflakes #3030557 09/30/20 12:41 PM
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Originally Posted by wszxbcl
Actually mathematicians are very creative. They create things that were not there before. But math students at an elementary level are not in a position to define new mathematical objects or make conjectures. Students learn spelling and grammar before they can write a novel. With music, you don't need as much studies as maths to start composing. So why not write some music if you are feeling creative?



Originally Posted by TwoSnowflakes
That's very different from how I see math. To me, math is VERY creative. But, just like music, you need to have clear rules and fundamentals first, and then you can combine them in strange and creative ways to make something new. Just like math. Mathematicians at a high level see things incredibly creatively because that's how complex mathematical problems get solved. They see links between things that nobody saw before in order to make sense of previously unfathomable things. In certain ways, math is almost an expression of pure creativity, not the opposite.

To say math is rote because basic math is rote is like saying music is rote because scales are.

Yes, mathematicians are extremely creative and math itself is creative. But there are several set principles that must be adhered to in order to get to that point. I wanted ways to circumvent all that and that actually ended up being the longer way.


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Re: Math The Reason I Gave Up Practice and then Rebooted?
rkzhao #3030560 09/30/20 12:44 PM
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Originally Posted by rkzhao
lol, this is like people wanting to be rich but not wanting to work.

LOL. Well it used to be for me. I have a much better understanding now. And I was far from the only one. These "Play the Piano in 24 Hours" gimmicks that pop up on the internet sell for a reason.


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Re: Math The Reason I Gave Up Practice and then Rebooted?
RhodesFanatic #3030566 09/30/20 01:02 PM
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Originally Posted by RhodesFanatic
I wanted ways to circumvent all that and that actually ended up being the longer way.

Yup. The take-away is ... you can't circumvent the basics. It is foundation.

Re: Math The Reason I Gave Up Practice and then Rebooted?
RhodesFanatic #3030689 09/30/20 06:56 PM
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Quote
But what is also true is that is a lot of creative folks (not all) hate or at least dislike math. I hated having to have one right answer to every equation. No opinion, no deviation, no expression.


I've been involved with math and have done a lot of math in my day. I never had a problem with the one right answer. I used to get called out on not arriving at that answer using the one right method. Way back in third grade I was marked wrong on a division problem because I used short division instead of long. Sometimes I solve problems in my head because I can see the pattern. Having to solve use "difference of perfect squares" instead of graphing or the quadratic equation. Sometimes there only is one answer but a lot of creative ways to arrive at that answer.

In music, I sometimes find a piece either written poorly (referring to pop hits music - sheet music using stinks) or too difficult (having to play a bass line written for a bassist). So I can either struggle through it or entertain myself by playing chords and melody. No exact, but it sounds like the song. So, like the math problems, I find other roads to the solution, just because I lose patience in adhering to the instructions.


“Nobody wants to show you the hours and hours of becoming. They'd rather show the highlight of what they've become.”
― Angela Duckworth, Grit: Passion, Perseverance, and the Science of Success
Re: Math The Reason I Gave Up Practice and then Rebooted?
RhodesFanatic #3030694 09/30/20 07:14 PM
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I'm not creative, and I hate math(s).

I've only ever memorized one equation in my very long life, and it's a + b = c. Not surprising, as I also find it very difficult to memorize music (so far, I've only memorized 36 pieces lasting three hours altogether.....or two hours, if I play fast).

But I'm good at bluffing, which is how I got to where I am now (in a very mediocre place in a very mediocre apartment).

One should never admit to one's failings, but instead, use the opportunity to bluff and hoodwink.


"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: Math The Reason I Gave Up Practice and then Rebooted?
bennevis #3030695 09/30/20 07:23 PM
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[quote=bennevis]I'm not creative, and I hate math(s).

I've only ever memorized one equation in my very long life, and it's a + b = c. Not surprising, as I also find it very difficult to memorize music (so far, I've only memorized 36 pieces lasting three hours altogether.....or two hours, if I play fast).

But I'm good at bluffing, which is how I got to where I am now (in a very mediocre place in a very mediocre apartment).

One should never admit to one's failings, but instead, use the opportunity to bluff and hoodwink.[

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Last edited by dogperson; 09/30/20 07:24 PM.
Re: Math The Reason I Gave Up Practice and then Rebooted?
RhodesFanatic #3030706 09/30/20 07:54 PM
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The important difference surely concerns the nature of results and processes. The generative processes in both mathematics and music are exceedingly imaginative and creative. A mathematical conclusion or result, however, is externally objective, invariant, and clear to every mind in the world capable of understanding it. A musical result, a composition or improvisation, most certainly has no fixed, objective meaning, but rather a unique meaning for every listening mind.

Last edited by Ted; 09/30/20 07:56 PM.

"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: Math The Reason I Gave Up Practice and then Rebooted?
RhodesFanatic #3030708 09/30/20 08:06 PM
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I don't think the OP's premise that creative people often don't like math is true. As has already been indicated, it's known that there is a connection between math and music and many interested in one of those are also interested in the other.


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