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#492246 - 06/05/02 09:27 PM Why I've been avoiding this forum lately
jgoo Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/23/01
Posts: 3974
Loc: Seattle, Washington, USA
The simple reason is: I let my Language Arts and US History grades slip too much and my dad took away my piano playing privliges from me. My Wurlitzer just sits in the living room, keyboard cover down and locked. This happend about a week and a half ago now. I don't get to play again until the school year is out, which isn't until the 19th. Well, I guess that its my fault for letting my grades slip, but why did he have to choose such a horrible punishment? To be perfectly honest, I've had worse reports (concerning my grades) before now, and hes never taken this drastic of a punishment out on me. He usually just yells until he blue in the face and then its over, but this time... He said that he is really dissapointed because I was doing so well in the beggining of the year and now, towards the end, I've been letting my grades go (in 2 out of 6 classes). Anyway, I still do get to play a 5-octive Yamaha keyboard at school for my 2nd period class (midi-lab), but it just isn't the same at all.

By the way, to be honest, I think that he chose that particular punishment because hes sick of hearing me play "that damned thing" everyday. He'd rather listen to the television any day than me playing the piano.
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#492247 - 06/05/02 09:46 PM Re: Why I've been avoiding this forum lately
jodi Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 6960
Loc: The Evergreen State (WA)
Jgoo - Parents can be SUCH a drag sometimes. (at least, that's what my daughter keeps telling me! ;\) ) I'm sorry they took your piano playing time away. (Any chance they might consider moving the piano into your bedroom if they don't like listening to it?) You do need to keep your grades up, though - it's pretty important. Are you a junior this year? I can't remember. Chin up, it will be over before you know it. \:\) Jodi

#492248 - 06/05/02 10:02 PM Re: Why I've been avoiding this forum lately
jgoo Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/23/01
Posts: 3974
Loc: Seattle, Washington, USA
Yah, I'm a junior. Just thought that I should come clean, though, so I posted this. Yah, schools pretty important, but I'm just getting right out bored with it. Thats the way I always am towards the end of the year. They shouldn't make us go for so long. Anyway, I just turned in a research paper (yes, ontime, for those who may be wondering) for my US History class that is worth 200 points, so that will hopefully help out my grade a lot. Also, I turned in (on time) my essay for Thier Eyes Were Watching God in Language Arts, which will hopefully raise my grade much in there, too. Can't wait to be out in a couple of weeks. 2 weeks from today, actually. I just hope that I make it through finals okay, that will be a big deciding factor for some of but not all of my classses. Okay, listen to (or read me, I guess I should say) ramble on. I'll shut up now.
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#492249 - 06/05/02 11:45 PM Re: Why I've been avoiding this forum lately
JBryan Offline
9000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/19/02
Posts: 9798
Loc: Oklahoma City
When I was younger my dad was a real dummy. He seems to have gotten a lot smarter over the years. \:D

[With apologies to Mark Twain]
Better to light one small candle than to curse the %&#$@#! darkness.

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#492250 - 06/05/02 11:55 PM Re: Why I've been avoiding this forum lately
Mr. Gould Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/07/01
Posts: 1111
Hey jgoo my grades are like this too...

I never give a damn about school anymore, I dont know why... I used to be a straight A student but now my grades have dropped to B's and sometime C+ My dad also gives me hell, he is sick of hearing me playing the piano all the time. So whenever he comes home he just says simply "get off the piano"... Its a daily routine.
Oh well... Summer is almost here ( thank god )
I would just like to say your not alone Jgoo!!!
Btw are you in grade 12?

#492251 - 06/06/02 12:22 AM Re: Why I've been avoiding this forum lately
BronzeWomn Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/08/01
Posts: 56
Loc: Michigan
Well, Iam a ole lady and I think this punishment can be good you know why ? Because you just look the piano playing like i do...I rather,,,play the piano instead of anything else in life. I just wish the phone would stop ringing sometimes i just won't answer it when i start playing or practicing...well getting back to the facts..just think you will really be playing better in two weeks< i have found this out when iam not actual playing with my fingers...i find out there is such of an improvemnt..in my playing. I laugh when u post this and I don't believe your grades are poorer then my daughter's grades..she is the opposite ..i have to take away her computer privillages cause she can't hear, see, or do for being online chatting. I know that you will do better and acheive better upgrades and be a mozart at the piano..once your fingers touch the ivories again. Good luck n school. Your father knows what u love the most and this hurts you but u will make it..thur.

#492252 - 06/06/02 12:54 AM Re: Why I've been avoiding this forum lately
Mr. Gould Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/07/01
Posts: 1111
Thanks for the advice...
I know that me old dad loves me, he can be hard on me sometimes though! \:\)

#492253 - 06/06/02 12:54 AM Re: Why I've been avoiding this forum lately
Ted Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/03/02
Posts: 1575
Loc: Auckland, New Zealand
A well intended word of advice from an old fart (54) obsessed with piano music to younger ones obsessed with piano music:

I abandoned a promising career in mathematics for music. My idealism with regard to music knew no bounds. I left university (college in the US) and worked on the waterfront to get enough to buy a grand. I had the same confrontation with parents about my constant piano playing and neglect of studies. I never aimed to set the world on fire and earn a living in music, but I composed, improvised and played almost to the exclusion of all else in life.

I was lucky as it turned out. The rapid proliferation of computers and programming enabled me to earn a stable living using little except raw mathematical flair. I was able to marry, support a family, continue with music and do all the ordinary things people expect to do in life. I wouldn't get away with it today.

These days things are much tougher and the penalties for making wrong decisions have the potential to be much harsher. Do not make the mistake of pursuing an ideal beyond the limits of common sense. Do not make the mistake of supposing that spending a few hours in sensible study toward a relevant qualification will stop you playing Liszt studies or composing or accomplishing anything in music - it won't. If you have it in you to do these things you'll do them regardless. I know because I've done them myself and I could have had the mathematics as well if I'd chosen more wisely. There is plenty of time in life for everything; don't throw a single thing away.

Believe me, your parents hearts are in the right place even if they shout and bellow about it. Don't abandon your studies. Change your subjects if you're not happy with them but don't neglect anything. Do not allow your music to be a reason for rejecting all else in life. Remember the example of Charles Ives. Did doing lots of other sensible things prevent him from making his mark in music?

I do not want discourage your music - that's the last thing I would do. However, I have been where you are and I made decisions which could have been a hell of a lot better.
"It is inadvisable to decline a dinner invitation from a plump woman." - Fred Hollows

#492254 - 06/06/02 01:43 AM Re: Why I've been avoiding this forum lately
mkesfahani Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/26/02
Posts: 836
Loc: Irvine, CA
I had a TV, stereo, and two video games systems in my room. You know what I did? I gave them all up to make room for my piano. Now, unless you love piano music, my room is the most boring place in the world. I did this because I knew there would be absolutely no way I could productively practice anywhere else in the house than inside my room. I even have a hard time practicing in practice rooms at my school.

My suggestion is this: get the piano in your own room! Do whatever you can. Rearrange the furniture if you have to. No, it probably won't help much with your grades, but at least your parents won't be on your case as much and your practicing will be more productive.

Sort of off topic, but nevertheless a good point: many people suggest a grand piano for music students and for good reason, but if you're going to complain about them playing, they'll be much better off with an upright in their own room.

Take it easy. I honestly think Junior year was the hardest year of my life and I'm glad it's over! Good luck!


#492255 - 06/06/02 01:58 AM Re: Why I've been avoiding this forum lately
jgoo Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/23/01
Posts: 3974
Loc: Seattle, Washington, USA
Why not put that stuff ON TOP of the piano? I have two television sets in my room (one is hooked up to cable and the other is for video games which I rarely play anymore, like, once every 3 months or something). The only problem is that right now, the way its arranged, my heat vent isn't blocked. Putting a piano in blocks it. Theres only one other place in my room that the piano would fit and my desk is occupying the space right across from it, so I wouldn't have any room to pull the bench out for the piano. My bed is very heavy. My dad and I moved it once and I hated it so I had him help me move it back. My room is a very small room, and its full. I even tried moving the desk once, and then realized that I didn't want extention chords running across the room, so I moved it back. Point being: There just isn't any room. I'd have to get rid of a brand new desk and my dresser to get it in at this point. And besides that, a friend of my dads live with us, in our basement, and his girlfriend plays the piano and ours is the only one that she currently has access to and I don't exactly want her in and out of my bedroom to play. Maybe I should buy a second piano for myself. A spinnet, and put it into my bedroom. Oh, that reminds me, someday when I have the money to buy myself one of those large and oversized camping vehicles, I'm going to put a spinnet in it. Don't know how well it'll keep tune on the road, but who cares as long as its a piano for me to play, right? I play out of tune pianos all the time. Oops, I'm rambleing on again. And yah, about my grades, I think that they're going to start looking up very soon.
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#492256 - 06/06/02 07:36 AM Re: Why I've been avoiding this forum lately
Praetorian_AD Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/24/01
Posts: 717
Loc: England
Sorry to hear about your loss, jgoo. I know exactly how it feels, believe me. And Classical Player aswell, I know how if feels to have someone telling you to shutup all the time. I have never had hardly a word of encouragement from my family except a brief smile when one of them comes in and shuts the door to the room where I'm playing. Also, I have neighbours who insist I do all my practicing before they get home at 5. Not easy considering I get off school at 4...

We pianists face a very hard road in that there's no way to practice without being very loud and audible to other people, and let's face it, the sounds we make are mostly pretty harsh on the ears of others. I'm now seriously considering buying a full-size weighted keyboard so that I can stick it in my room and avoid this happening, playing with headphones into the late hours of the night! Yes...I can dream.

But (this may seem a bit obvious) have you ever tried pushing down the left and middle pedals together on your upright? This almost completely muffles the sound, but you can still practice pretty well. This way, for the time being, can stop annoying those who have to listen to you.

Ted, I'd just like to thank you for that excellent piece of advice you gave us younger musicians. I've only just decided to quit studying music after high school in favour of a more promising career in languages, and it's been a really hard thing to do. I fully agree with what you say and hope I can devote the time that I want to my music when I grow up.

#492257 - 06/06/02 08:36 AM Re: Why I've been avoiding this forum lately
the artist Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/05/02
Posts: 757
Loc: Tulsa, OK
Originally posted by jgoo:
You can't get a job without experience; you can't get experience without a job.

Posts: 951 | From: Seattle, Washington, USA | Registered: Jul 2001 | IP: Logged .[/b]
You also can't get a job without higher education!! \:D \:D

Trust me, regardless of what you do in life, your education will help you more than anything else. (Music majors are no educational slouches -- even they have to know "all that other stuff"!!)
_Good Luck!!

#492258 - 06/06/02 08:54 AM Re: Why I've been avoiding this forum lately
Brendan Offline

Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 5548
Loc: McAllen, TX
Originally posted by jgoo:
Why not put that stuff ON TOP of the piano? [/b]
How about because the piano isn't a piece of furniture?????


#492259 - 06/06/02 09:11 AM Re: Why I've been avoiding this forum lately
daryl Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/26/02
Posts: 49
Loc: new york
You've gotten some really good advice and i went though the same thing,if you can get the piano in your room that helped me alot,and when they said it was to loud,i brought a digital grand and played with headphones.My point is never let anything stop your passion,but on the other hand you must prioritize your time so that you get it all in,school and whatever else you need to do.
"Great talents ripen late;
"The highest notes are hard to hear"

Lao Tzu

#492260 - 06/06/02 11:45 AM Re: Why I've been avoiding this forum lately
Elaine617 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/21/02
Posts: 364
Loc: North Carolina
Hi jgoo,

As a nursing student, I can certainly identify with your problem. I know sometimes that it's tough to study, especially when you have a particular piece of music running through your head and you just have to sit down and play it. It happens to me all the time, but I have found a solution that works really well for me, so maybe it can help you, too. When I have assigned reading material or a test coming up, I study my text book and class notes until I feel fairly comfortable with the material. Once I have finished, I go to my piano and just play something no-brainer (i.e. pieces that I could play in my sleep) while at the same time, I'm concentrating on the material that I just studied. To my surprise, it has been much easier to retain the class material and my test scores improved tremedously. I'm not sure why this works for me, but there is something about it that seems to help me retain what I have learned. I know that school is almost out for the summer, but give this a try when you go back in the fall and see if it helps you. Good luck to you! To my Piano World friends: I haven't posted in a loooooooong time because of my studies, but I want to say hello & send big hugs to all of you!


#492261 - 06/06/02 01:36 PM Re: Why I've been avoiding this forum lately
jodi Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 6960
Loc: The Evergreen State (WA)
Hi Lyn!! Welcome back! \:\) Jodi

#492262 - 06/06/02 02:02 PM Re: Why I've been avoiding this forum lately
AndrewG Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 2506
Loc: Denver, Colorado
Hi Lyn,

We haven't 'SEEN' you for ages! Welcome back to the forum!

#492263 - 06/06/02 04:48 PM Re: Why I've been avoiding this forum lately
Rich Galassini Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/28/01
Posts: 10494
Loc: Philadelphia/South Jersey

Please believe this - there is more to life than piano. Yes, it makes alot of life sweeter and is good for us in many ways, but education has to come first. Finish the year with a bang, make your Dad proud, and have a great summer of piano!
Rich Galassini
Cunningham Piano Co.
Phila, Pa.
(215) 991-0834 direct line
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#492264 - 06/06/02 10:59 PM Re: Why I've been avoiding this forum lately
PianoMuse Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/04/01
Posts: 902
Loc: Philly, PA
What is it with parents, Jgoo? Mine have done the same thing to me. When my mom gets mad at me, she forbids me to play..." i don't want to hear it right now! Don't play or else!" Now me, the piano is partly a way to vent anger. so then it gets all bottled up inside without playing!
I mean, why wouldn't our parents want to encourage our playing no matter what, even if it IS annoying? ( playing the same phrase over and over again).
Do you mayeb have a n auditorium in your school with a piano, that you could play during a free time? ( or sneak out of class...without missing work, that is).
I always thought that the piano helped my grades. apparently our parents feel otherwise. glad to see another that knows my pain!
"Music is enough for a lifetime, but a lifetime is not enough for music." ~Rachmaninoff

#492265 - 06/07/02 01:27 AM Re: Why I've been avoiding this forum lately
nancyww Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/21/02
Posts: 585
Loc: central oregon
As a parent who just had a conversation with a friend on how to get our children to take their piano practice more seriously, I am reading this thread with a little amusement... and envy. \:\)

#492266 - 06/07/02 08:06 PM Re: Why I've been avoiding this forum lately
ChemicalGrl Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/03/01
Posts: 643
Loc: Durham, North Carolina
Wow, another person who actually spells her name the same way as I do (I also spell my name "LYN"), and I'm sure you have people misspelling your name all the time.

jgoo, I've also gone through the parental restriction thing myself, although not as drastic as not being allowed to play the piano. Honestly, that seems awfully cruel to me. Sure, take away telephone privileges, tv, no going out, etc. But take away the piano? That's harsh.

What I found helped me, and still helps me today, is being able to manage time effectively. I have a calendar which shows 1 week at a glance, and each day is marked off by hours. I then block out the times I spend in classes, work, teaching, etc. Then I block off times I spend sleeping, eating, etc. Whatever is left is the time I partition among homework, practicing, etc. When I started to do that, I found I had far more time than I thought I ever had. Maybe doing something like this might help you, because I know for me, a lot of my problems stemmed from not managing my time effectively. (And having this skill became very important when I was in the midst of thesis writing. Now it'll be very important as I'm trying to compete for a grant ...)

Chin up, jgoo. Before you know it, you'll be back on that piano tickling the ivories again.
Lyn F.


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