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I am not a MOYD type of person, and when I feel very tired, or sad, or upset, or all three of them at the same time, it happens that I give myself a break and skip a day of practice. But lately I noticed that on bad days during which I do practise, I feel more happier, or a bit less unhappy, than when I don't practise. This is quite new, it wasn't like that a couple of years ago.

Any of you having the same experience?


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I volunteer a couple of days a week at a public botanical garden and when I get home I just want to collapse. I don't practice on those days. I've thought of practicing before bed on those days, but when I do that, I get music in my head that keeps me from sleeping well.

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There are many times when I can only practice 1 or 2 days a week and then I make the best use of that time whether it be for an hour or 3 hours. Unfortunately many of us non- professionals just don’t have the time as much as would like to make it. This obviously slows my progress with pieces but I accept that as part of being a working adult and business owner who travels a lot everyday. Don’t feel guilty about missing some practice days but obviously the more you practice the better you become and every day practice is the ideal.


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At my stage in life, I don't need to practise at all if I can't be bothered, if there is no recital looming; and indeed, when I'm on holiday as I was last month, in the bonny Scottish Highlands (where my namesake resides), piano didn't even enter my head: I was engrossed in lots of other activities, like checking out vistas from the mountain tops, swimming in lochs etc. I brought my iPod, but didn't use it: I only listened to music during the drive up there and back, on my car radio.

However, when back in my not-so-bonny home, I play my piano daily, often as a respite from my stressful job, though not necessarily practising. For instance, there was a day last week when I returned home two hours late from a long day 'at the office' and worrying if I'd left undone those things which I ought to have done; or done those things which I ought not to have done (sounds like a quote from a prayer..... whistle), but instead of heading straight for bed, I decided to open Pianist Magazine and sight-read a few of the pieces in it for relaxation.......and alighted upon a composer who I knew little about, and whose piano music I'd never seen, let alone played. Within a few seconds, my mood lifted, and I cast aside all my worries as I engrossed myself in playing through Mel Bonis's Phoebé, a delightful Romantic salon piece with rippling arpeggios all the way through.

That was enough to set me off playing other stuff non-stop for the next hour (which flew by) before returning to Phoebé before I finally retired to bed, with soothing music running through my head.

Musick has charms to soothe a savage breast, as William Congreve might say. (Actually, he did say wink .)


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It is true that one I start working on a piece I tend to get carried away and before I know it hours have passed. I would like to make it a point to try to play even if for just a few minutes before I sleep as I think daily playing makes for a better pianist in the long term. Coming home every night at 8 or 9 pm after a stressful day at work and then doing the same thing again at 6 am the next morning can be draining. I have to say however I do tend to have better sleep when music was the last thing I remembered in my waking hours over all the things left to be done at work.


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I know what you mean. There’s definitely a big sense of accomplishment just from playing even if it’s only 5-10 min. I try not to skip days but I don’t care if I do as I know rest days are good too like working out. However, I know every time I sit at the piano it’s helping me get better even if it doesn’t always feel like it. What I do is I have quite a few things in rotation which is new for me and if I don’t feel like working one and I’m loving the other I’ll focus on the one I’m enjoying. It’s funny how much it varies.

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Originally Posted by Animisha
I am not a MOYD type of person, and when I feel very tired, or sad, or upset, or all three of them at the same time, it happens that I give myself a break and skip a day of practice.

I'm happy for you that you are not a slave to your piano. For me, being free to do as I choose is very important.

This summer, I have spent more time away from the piano than with it. I spent 3 weeks in June in the mountains of Wyoming working on a ranch my friend just purchased. I didn't see a piano for 3 weeks, had no regrets over it, and played beautifully (for me) immediately upon my arrival home.

Then, I was gone from home all of August on a massive bicycle adventure in the mountains of Colorado and then down the coast of California. I had the same experience again. No regrets, and, played as if I had never left upon my return.

It is good that you can step away from the piano when you want to do other things. I think this is a healthy mental state.


Originally Posted by Animisha
But lately I noticed that on bad days during which I do practise, I feel more happier, or a bit less unhappy, than when I don't practice. This is quite new, it wasn't like that a couple of years ago.

Any of you having the same experience?

I don't experience this very often. I wish I did. Most of my bad days have to do with the impacts others have on (inflict onto) my life that I am not in a position to avoid. When I try to play piano while angry over such things, I tend to be distracted and have little success playing well. And fortunately, I've not had many days of sadness to play my way through.

All in all, I think being free from external and internal constraints, and doing what pleases you at the moment, is very important.


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Originally Posted by Animisha
But lately I noticed that on bad days during which I do practise, I feel more happier, or a bit less unhappy, than when I don't practise. This is quite new, it wasn't like that a couple of years ago.

Any of you having the same experience?

Practice is more likely to put me in a bad mood when it doesn't go well. A passage recently nailed falls apart or a bad sight reading session where I find my self repeatedly having to count lines/spaces to figure out a note or misinterpreting intervals makes me feel like I'm regressing. Luckily most practice sessions aren't like that. I started a new piece a couple of weeks ago and the 'B' section was so beautiful that it made me break out in goosebumps.

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Even though I have registered on MYOD , recently I've found that I would skip a day or two without reporting on the related thread. I mean, sometimes I can't practice because I'm busy or simply that I don't feel like it.

There have been days when I have put myself in better mood by playing a piece that I've been taught or days when I have been on a totally okay mood and didn't feel like practicing.

It's normal I think, even though I don't consider myself a normal person. haha


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MOYD has saved my piano bacon this year laugh I think I might have almost quit without it.

Nonetheless, I'm not on the piano every day, and the last couple of months instead of posting each day I miss I just post at the end of the month how many days I missed.

But I was pretty burnt out and had quit playing senior gigs in 2020 and couldn't deal with even looking at that repertoire so was in danger of just not playing at all. So I joined MOYD. I decided to play *only* ragtime.

And since, like Animisha, the reward of playing, tho not enuf to get me *to* the bench, *is* enuf to keep me playing. So the little extra push from MOYD was really helpful.

I'm just about at the point that MOYD will no longer be positive/needed (I've spent a couple of months as, it is now put, decluttering and I have lots more space and light in my life), but in the meantime I'm glad it's there.

I, too, am not an MOYD type, and I definitely get a high from actually playing/practising and have never felt the need or the rewards from MOYD. Until this year, with severe burn out.

So I'm actually dreaming about getting back to the piano-space refreshed and looking forward to playing. But I was really on the cusp and thank goodness for SwissMS, who moderates it, and casinitaly who started it.

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What I learnt on my piano journey is about balance. I restarted my ‘movement’ journey with discovering I love yoga…and in small steps I am learning of the importance of strength training. I am an avid runner and spin person..so to tune out those activities to more mind body exercise: I learn that I am okay that some busy days I can’t get to the piano because I enjoyed my yoga/strength time. I don’t want to arrive with poor focus even though there is advice that 10 minutes is better than none. Actually, I don’t find JOY in pushing through something when my energy isn’t there. I don’t do 40 pieces or MOYD..it just triggers guilt- who needs that! I started a journal where I literally plan in the morning what I should focus on with an overview for the week/upcoming lesson.

Playing the piano is a form of self care, because it is one of my JOYS. You do need to ask yourself WHY do you play and it can be different every day. however you describe it - I hope it is always in the genre of JOY.

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I don’t ask myself if i want to practice or not, I wake up, have breakfast and practice.
With the covid-19, I’m home everyday so I practiced non stop for a year and a half. At one point I had enough of the piano and I took a one week break.



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I’ve been practicing consistently after starting as an adult. Coming from a non-musical family, some relatives took lessons like academic exercises. At the moment I’m the only person in the family who play music for stress relief.

I started without a teacher and download music regularly. I always have a few interesting pieces to play. When I’m tired, I would play the pieces I already worked on for weeks. Sometimes I’d be playing a piece half asleep including pieces with lots of chords & big jumps. Learning new pieces only on days my energy level is up.

I was going through a mid-life crisis. The rest of the family was focused on making money & moving up the corporate ladder. Getting into music lessons & daily music practice is a taboo subject at home. I needed a balance in life. Playing music is very personal. The rest of the family don’t share the same passion for music and nobody would admit they took lessons in the past.

There are few days in the past decade I’d skip playing except when I’ out of town.

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Originally Posted by Animisha
I am not a MOYD type of person, and when I feel very tired, or sad, or upset, or all three of them at the same time, it happens that I give myself a break and skip a day of practice. But lately I noticed that on bad days during which I do practise, I feel more happier, or a bit less unhappy, than when I don't practise. This is quite new, it wasn't like that a couple of years ago.

Any of you having the same experience?

Yes, exactly. I don't quite have a daily rhythm since I retired. I also got a new puppy, which doesn't exactly support a routine, and I also broke 2 bones in my right hand, so there's no surprise that things are a little irregular around here. Practicing only the left is not particularly satisfying. Now that my hand is feeling better, I am tempted to try it out, but then it hurts, and then that's worse.

When I was working, I practiced nearly every morning before work, and when something was scheduled and I had to go in early, the day always felt like I was missing something.


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I practice 30 min before work and 30 min after. But, I'm not a professional and I won't stress if life gets in the way. I might have plans in the evenings, I might have had trouble sleeping and decide to sleep in, I might need to work late and barely have time for dinner, might be traveling, etc. Practice is part of my daily routine and I look forward to my practice sessions when I wake up and when I'm at work, but if I forced myself to practice when I'm stressed for time I probably would burn out. I have my whole life to play one day off here and there won't make that much difference

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I've practiced every day since I started playing in January 2020. About two months ago I started tracking what I was doing. Totally corporate environment type tracking. Charts and everytihng. VERY anal. About a month ago, I started tracking my time - and doing 25 minutes on/5off several times during the day.

The joy started to evaporate. I forgot I was playing because I love it. It nearly became a job. A chore. Last week, I had my last lesson before a 4 week break (school holidays and lockdown). This week, I'm only playing songs that I have learned that I love. I need a break from learning. It might only be a week - or it might be the entire 4 weeks. But I don't want to lose the love and passion I have for the piano and playing - so I think the break is needed. I'm sure I will return to my lessons mid-October with my love and passion back in check.


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I'm also not a MOYD person, but I practiced steadily from my 3rd to my 7th year, keeping track of my practice, setting goals, etc. Then when I clocked 3,000 hours I just stopped. Oddly enough, the pandemic made me practise less, way less. I sat at the piano very little in the last 1.5 years. But I'm still passionate about it and I honestly can't notice much damage from my inconsistent practice, on the contrary. Now I'm slowly getting back on the bench more and I'm loving it. I'm also trying to read impossibly difficult pieces, which is so much fun. It's not like I don't need to practice anymore and I can just play (I wish!), but I feel that playing the piano is part of me now and it will never go away, I can go back to it anytime I want. At least I hope so.

This makes me realise that in March next year I will celebrate my 10th pianoversary. Gosh.

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I practice every day that I'm at home. I need the discipline of sitting down to the piano every day. Some days--especially if I'm physically exhausted--are "light" days where I will cut practice short because I can tell I'm not making progress. On days when I'm mentally distracted by life chatter and challenges, I do find that once I'm at the piano, my head gets in a better place.

I don't practice every piece I'm working on every day unless it's very new to me. The more mature pieces get rest days. I don't keep track of time spent with a piece but I do keep track of what pieces I practice each day. I use a lot of abbreviations in my log book and I would take no prize for legible writing, lol.

Vacations are time away from the piano as well. I don't even think about piano.


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Very impressed with everyone's discipline here. I need to get my act together!


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Thank you all for your replies. Very nice to read!

Two short clarifications:
* I am not a MOYD person, but I think MOYD is great for piano students who are MOYD persons. cool
* I am early retired and therefore I have the time and energy for practising. But when I still worked (and was on my way to a burnout even though I didn't know it), I did not practise very much at all, because I was simply too tired in the evenings to be able to concentrate.


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