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#983778 - 11/30/06 10:49 AM Your greatest frustration  
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loveschopintoomuch Offline
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Learning to play the piano is just another way of saying...you're going to experience more moments of frustration than you could think possible. :p

However, we all have our favorite (not sure this is the right word, but you know what I mean).

Mine is...after spending months of learning a piece, practicing it everyday religiously, putting every ounce of focus and determination into the task, we FINALLY are able to play it fairly well. How proud we are of ourselves!

So, we go on to learn something else and leave the other piece rest for a few days, a week or so, maybe. Just because we're kind of sick of it by this time. :rolleyes:

Then, we pull out the sheet music once again...just to keep it performance ready, only to discover that we have practically forgotten most of it. eek eek It's almost like we have to start all over again. frown frown

Argh!!! mad cursing

What's yours?

Kathleen


After playing Chopin, I feel as if I had been weeping over sins that I had never committed, and mourning over tragedies that were not my own." Oscar Wilde, 1891
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#983779 - 11/30/06 10:56 AM Re: Your greatest frustration  
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I agree with you there, Kathleen!

My greatest frustration is when I first start learning a new piece. When I get a section learned fairly well, instead of pushing ahead and learning the other bits, I keep on playing the bit I already know.

My other frustrations are:
a) knowing it is going to be ages before I can play the Chopin Ballades
b) knowing it is going to be ages before I can afford a grand piano.

But I don't tend to focus too much on the negatives!

#983780 - 11/30/06 11:01 AM Re: Your greatest frustration  
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Never ever seeming to be able make it through a piece without making some sort of mistake and almost always losing it when I know someone is listening


Slow down and do it right.
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#983781 - 11/30/06 11:01 AM Re: Your greatest frustration  
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Ditto to you Kathleen (by the time I posted 2 others had posted before me! smile )... and I'm experiencing that right now with my one of my old recital pieces!!!

Second, however, would be those songs that are physically challenging because of ackward reaches or very fast sections which are "clearly" impossible for anyone to play consistently until you practice it for a month straight and realize it is possible.


Andrew - Shortcircuit85

If you were not sane, you would never misunderstand this question or the consequences of not comprehending its meaning.
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#983782 - 11/30/06 11:41 AM Re: Your greatest frustration  
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To echo the above...

"Memory rust" on pieces I've learnt. Very annoying because it means my repertoire never feels as big as I'd like it to.

Complete loss of skill when someone is listening to me play.

Getting stuck or making a mistake at the same place in a piece seemingly no matter how long I spend practicing it.

How slowly my sight reading seems to improve.

But then again...

How good it is when I successfully play a full piece from memory with little to no slip-ups.

How good it is once I warm up to having someone stood there and begin to relax and play almost as I normally do (playing in the piano shop was a good test of that).

How good it is when repeated hammering of the difficult section finally gets in and flows properly.

How good it is when I see that my sight reading is very slowly progressing and on the odd rare occasion I can sight read something from start to finish successfully.

There are so many positives to be found from the frustrations of piano playing if you look hard enough.

#983783 - 11/30/06 12:12 PM Re: Your greatest frustration  
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Oh I soo empathize with all of the above. Forgetting those pieces that took me months to learn, not being able to play pieces I "know inside out" without making a mistake - drives me crazy!! One additional is not being able to practice as much as I'd like and having to compete with the TV.

But isn't it so very cool when a piece that seemed, only a few months ago, to be too far out of reach suddenly isn't so scary? or when a piece finally comes together after weeks of struggling.

I haven't quite figured out how to prevent the first from occuring though.... I try to keep a fresh repertoire but it's hard to focus on newer more advanced pieces and still work on older ones.... too much music and such little time!!


It's the journey not the destination..
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#983784 - 11/30/06 12:24 PM Re: Your greatest frustration  
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Well, I've said this before. Before you select a piece to learn, it had better be one that you like, because you will have to play it over and over again. Plus, you have to continue to play it on a regular basis, or you will lose it.
Mike

#983785 - 11/30/06 03:18 PM Re: Your greatest frustration  
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Not being able to play worth a darn when that Red Dot is going... mad cursing


Mason & Hamlin A -- 91997
My YouTube channel: http://www.youtube.com/pianomonica
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#983786 - 11/30/06 03:40 PM Re: Your greatest frustration  
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I agree with all the above.

If you're not making mistakes you're not human.


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#983787 - 11/30/06 06:31 PM Re: Your greatest frustration  
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How about finding that the guy who wrote that pretty piece of music was writting for a LH 10th when you can only reach a 9th?


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#983788 - 11/30/06 10:08 PM Re: Your greatest frustration  
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Definitely Ditto to what Kathleen had said.

After spending so much time learning a piece and only to forget it afterwards is surely my No1 frustration.

#983789 - 11/30/06 10:31 PM Re: Your greatest frustration  
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I agree with all of the above but most of all I get frustrated when *stuff* happens and I can't practice for an extended period of time. A little over a year ago I was doing good, making progress and then we move half way across the country. We had to go into an apartment for 2 months first after we had sold our house so for at least 2 months no practicing at all. I was so upset that I had finally just gotten my skills back up to where I left off 25 years ago and of course the time off put me back quite a few paces.

Since then I've not had as big a gap but if work is super busy or the holidays come up etc etc and my work and being a mom of course have to come first I get very frustrated!
mad


"If you are going through heck, keep going." Winston Churchill
#983790 - 11/30/06 10:32 PM Re: Your greatest frustration  
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My frustrations??? All of the above and then some. Right now it is being born with small hands and wanting to play a piece that requires a span of 11 keys. Ugh. I know can roll the chord,but the one that frustrates me the most is marked FFF, and somehow rolling it instead of pounding it down with a resounding triple forte just doesn't cut it. Gaby Tu

#983791 - 12/01/06 11:51 AM Re: Your greatest frustration  
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I think I'll give this thread a couple of days, then I am going to post a list (you know, like the one David Letterman sometimes does). Starting with #10 and working up to #1. I'll do it by counting the number of times something is mentioned.

And we have to come up with a great name for it. laugh Something like: To Be a Pianist is to Dread These. eek That isn't very creative. Maybe someone can come up with a more catchy phrase.

Kathleen


After playing Chopin, I feel as if I had been weeping over sins that I had never committed, and mourning over tragedies that were not my own." Oscar Wilde, 1891
#983792 - 12/01/06 11:52 AM Re: Your greatest frustration  
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oooppsss, double post


After playing Chopin, I feel as if I had been weeping over sins that I had never committed, and mourning over tragedies that were not my own." Oscar Wilde, 1891
#983793 - 12/01/06 12:01 PM Re: Your greatest frustration  
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My number one is....... tension.

Followed by .......OK, tension.

My brain understands relax, practice, and it will come. My hands buy in for the first few minutes, then take over. The harder I try to relax, well, you get the idea.

As far as a title, Kathleen, keeping the Letterman spirit, may I suggest "The Top Ten Reasons Why I Will Say NO if Carnigie Hall Calls"


"There is nothing remarkable about it. All one has to do is hit the right keys at the right time and the instrument plays itself." Johann Sebastian Bach/Gyro
#983794 - 12/01/06 02:50 PM Re: Your greatest frustration  
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I actually have no problems remembering pieces, even if I have not played them for quite awhile.

A big problem for meis getting through a blasted piece. The self-motivation to do this is just ridiculous.

Another problem is tension in the hands, as gmm1 said.

The worst problem I must overcome, though, is convincing myself that I can never become as good as I want to be. I've convinced myself of this many times, and I just flat out stop practicing. You know, when there are so many people who you know you can never become as good as, what's the point? I'm listening to Rubinstein give a flawless rendition of Chopin's E minor concerto, and I know I could never get that good. So I sit here and pout about it instead of getting on the friggen piano and practicing. *Sigh*, what am I supposed to do.

#983795 - 12/01/06 03:04 PM Re: Your greatest frustration  
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All of the above and reading Nancy333's post about her attempt to learn the Aolian Harp Etude - unsuccessful. I have it in a folder that says Patty's repertoire in 2014 - will I ever?

Patty


In love with life
#983796 - 12/01/06 03:13 PM Re: Your greatest frustration  
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1. Not having the adequate technique to play a piece the way I can hear it in my head is probably my biggest frustration. This is particularly the case for slow pieces. Why do they seem so much harder to play than fast ones?!

2. I don't have a practice schedule that allows me to cover everything from technique, ear training, transposition, scales, chords, arpeggios, theory, sight reading. I can't cover all of these things in one practice session but I should able to work it out so that I practice some things a few times a week. I also would like to set up weekly or monthly goals for things that I want to accomplish.

3. Pedaling is a real challenge for me. Like it's not hard enough coordinating two hands that are moving independently, now I have to add one foot and eventually both feet. eek Not only do I have to learn when to press and release it, but I have to work on doing it silently. I keep making this KA-PLUNK sound when I press and release the pedal. A bit distracting, especially on slow pieces. It sounds like la la la la KAPLUNK la la la KAPLUNK la KAPLUNK la KAPLUNK :rolleyes:

#983797 - 12/01/06 03:30 PM Re: Your greatest frustration  
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My biggest frustration never being able to bring a piece of music up to "speed".

I'll practice like crazy every day with my tempo going up every day towards that "Allegro" tempo marking. A week or two later, I feel like I'm getting close. I can practice it nicely and accurately without the metronome. Two weeks later, I'm almost there... I shed the training wheels (metronome), and then crash and burn only to have to start over because the piece falls apart under my fingers! Where did all that work go?

Another frustration I have is starting a piano project only to be interrupted so much at that critical learning time that the piece ends up ship-wrecked forever! I also noticed that I seem to be interrupted in the same place every time too like someone is trying to tell me something!

I'm with you Soleil_nuage! I can hear all the Chopin Ballades, Scherzi, and Etudes running in my head, but to get the fingers to follow - HA what a joke!

John


Nothing.
#983798 - 12/01/06 03:53 PM Re: Your greatest frustration  
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Dear Reaper978:

To be as good as Rubinstein...well, that's just about every classical pianists' dream..so you are not alone in this desire.

But pianists like Hofmann, Rachmaninoff, Hororwitz and Rubinstein just come around every century or so, maybe just like a comet. For every one of them, there are thousands of others, all have devoted every waking hour to their passion and who have sacrificed everything -- a normal life...meaning family, friends and fun.

And out of those thousands, there are, perhaps, one or two who have what it takes to make it to the concert stage.

As for those who don't make it, do they quit playing and go to a vocational school to learn a new trade? Hardly!

Do they say: "Well, if I can't have it all, then I don't want any of it?" I doubt it. If they have this attitude, then they really didn't have what it takes...after all.

I'm just a person whose dream is to live long enough (I'm 67) to be able to play as many of Chopin compositions as possible. I just want to recreate beautiful music. And I hope I die sitting at the piano.

Regards,
Kathleen


After playing Chopin, I feel as if I had been weeping over sins that I had never committed, and mourning over tragedies that were not my own." Oscar Wilde, 1891
#983799 - 12/01/06 04:00 PM Re: Your greatest frustration  
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Quote
2. I don't have a practice schedule that allows me to cover everything from technique, ear training, transposition, scales, chords, arpeggios, theory, sight reading. I can't cover all of these things in one practice session but I should able to work it out so that I practice some things a few times a week. I also would like to set up weekly or monthly goals for things that I want to accomplish.
I hear Shiro approaching laugh

I was discussing some of these things with my teacher today. It's one of the problems common to adult learners. We have an ear that is developed way beyond our fingers. I hear and feel all the subtle differences and understand when the technique is explained to me but getting the fingers to cooperate is near impossible.


It's the journey not the destination..
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#983800 - 12/01/06 06:05 PM Re: Your greatest frustration  
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Mine is pretty much the same as mentioned. I spend so much time learning a piece, drop it for a while and then come back to find out it has flown away....

Then of course the technical problems. Some things are just out of reach. And I sure wish I could read quicker....


"One's real life is often the life that one does not lead."- Oscar Wilde
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#983801 - 12/01/06 06:09 PM Re: Your greatest frustration  
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I just have to say again how comforting it is to know that my frustrations are shared by so many! Makes them less frustrating some how. Thanks everyone for sharing!


It's the journey not the destination..
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#983802 - 12/01/06 06:25 PM Re: Your greatest frustration  
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Not being as good as those professional jazz pianists I listen to on CD and watch in person or on TV even after literally MONTHS of practice!

wink


There is no reality, only perception.
#983803 - 12/01/06 06:31 PM Re: Your greatest frustration  
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popular kids! mad

#983804 - 12/01/06 06:48 PM Re: Your greatest frustration  
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Oh Debussy20!

I often wonder how talented kids manage. I know you are talented and I know you are about 14 and I know that at 14, life is tough! How do you manage to keep your (obvious) passion for piano when the peer pressure is so great at your age? My hat is off to you for sticking to it and for your talent, and for your wisdom at such a young age (and I can say that as I just found out I'm going to be a grandmother...ahhhhhh eek ) So I'm REALLY old!! laugh

Anyway, it's great having you around and I enjoy your input here! Thanks!


It's the journey not the destination..
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#983805 - 12/01/06 07:05 PM Re: Your greatest frustration  
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I have always maintained, well….not always, but most of the time, certainly, that one should play with a confident (aggressive) style, perhaps better described as "decisive" – Yes! Decisive. One should play decisively, as I do, but not always. This is why I get frustrated. Sometimes.


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--------------
Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined. Henry David Thoreau
#983806 - 12/01/06 10:04 PM Re: Your greatest frustration  
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My frustration is with memorizing. It is sooooo hard to do but so important. I really can't start to make music until I've memorized a piece.

I just wish it was easier.


Buy some good stock and hold it till it goes up, then sell it. If it don't go up, don't buy it.
Will Rogers

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#983807 - 12/03/06 04:36 PM Re: Your greatest frustration  
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my biggest frustration is waiting to be good. Isn't frustrating learning something new about playing, that you should have known already. Piano is so simple but so complex. Sometimes I think we care too much and that is why it becomes so hard. Another frustration is learning how to put all the different parts of playing together. Listening, Fingering, Reading, Counting.
.. boy is that frustrating. Let me know how you handle it.

#983808 - 12/03/06 08:20 PM Re: Your greatest frustration  
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Lisztener Offline
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Monica already posted the one that's my current nemesis:

Quote
Not being able to play worth a darn when that Red Dot is going...
Recording is like playing in a live recital with your worst critic sitting right beside you. Maybe the more you do it the esier it becomes. We'll see.

Here is a recording I made earlier today of Chopin's "Suffocation" Prelude. The tempo is a little too fast and it may have other problems as well, but it's the best I could muster at the time with that red-eyed monster close by.

http://www.box.net/public/zlb7uhh70a



#983809 - 12/04/06 12:18 AM Re: Your greatest frustration  
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Mike A Offline
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Hoping for a cure …

Record Relapse Disorder (RRD) . . . when the “record” light goes on, playing ability is severely regressed . . . relapse is to an earlier stage of skill, talent and piano experience (pre-natal in extreme cases) . . .

Pedal Abuse Syndrome (PAS) . . . in contact with a piano pedal (may also occur in vehicular contexts), sudden-onset increase in foot-bone density, mass and weight . . . also known as “anvil foot” . . .

Tympanic Membrane Playback Cacophony Distress (TMPCD) . . . a secondary complication of having both RRD and PAS . . . acute eardrum pain induced by playback of recordings of jarring, pedal-sustained, wrong-note dissonance.

#983810 - 12/04/06 02:30 AM Re: Your greatest frustration  
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Mike,

It appears as though I may be doing great harm to myself trying to drive that 600 pound beast around the living room. Not only is it causing severe syndromes to me...taking me back to the womb, club foot, ruined ears...but I may harm the neighbors as well if I lose control and break through a wall. Heaven forbid I'd flatten them out and need to call an ambualnce to haul them away to the hospital for physical and emotional emergency care. Perhaps it's best that I leave the beast alone and quiet. My, my, what a terrible couple of days for me.

What's your advice Doc?



#983811 - 12/04/06 08:12 AM Re: Your greatest frustration  
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Patty39 Offline
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You forgot the Teacher Relapse Disorder and related Shaky Hands.

Positively giggling...

Patty


In love with life
#983812 - 12/04/06 10:52 AM Re: Your greatest frustration  
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Mike A Offline
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Quote
Originally posted by Lisztener:
Mike,

It appears as though I may be doing great harm to myself trying to drive that 600 pound beast around the living room. Not only is it causing severe syndromes to me...taking me back to the womb, club foot, ruined ears...but I may harm the neighbors as well if I lose control and break through a wall. Heaven forbid I'd flatten them out and need to call an ambualnce to haul them away to the hospital for physical and emotional emergency care. Perhaps it's best that I leave the beast alone and quiet. My, my, what a terrible couple of days for me.

What's your advice Doc?
Your words, Lisztener, evidence the appropriately tortured soul of a musician . . . however, your posted recordings show no signs of RRD/PAS/TMPCD. Let the beast sing!

#983813 - 12/04/06 11:00 AM Re: Your greatest frustration  
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quarter note triplets in the RH played against 2 quarter notes in the LH

#983814 - 12/04/06 11:31 AM Re: Your greatest frustration  
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Europe
Interesting thread. A few years ago I was listening to Ludovico Einaudi on Classic FM, playing Le Onde and I thought, hmm, I can play that. So I ordered the sheet music book and well.. perhaps I just play the uppernotes with the RH. SLOWLY. So I started with "Passagio" . After a few weeks fiddling away I heard it the way it should be played and I almost fell from the pianobench. Aaargh, it was played at least 4 times faster than I did. So there's the difference: I can play it in my head but somehow the signal from the brain ...gets lost.. on its...way ... to the...hands...
So, that my frustration. Anyway, what's wrong with playing a boogie woogie like a lullaby, as long as I like the way it sounds to me?
Lately there was a thread about "sad pieces, melancholy, flats" etc. Well, my pieces sound melancholic even played with sharps laugh

#983815 - 12/04/06 12:20 PM Re: Your greatest frustration  
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dannylux Offline
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Connecticut
Lisztener,

You play the Prelude beautifully!

But where did you get that awful name for it?

I think your tempo is just right for this piece.

Please consider posting your link in the "Totally Devoted To Chopin" thread.

Otherwise your wonderful recording is just going to get quickly buried here.

Thanks for posting your terrific playing.

Mel


"Love has nothing to do with what you are expecting to get — only what you are expecting to give — which is everything. You give because you love and cannot help giving." Katharine Hepburn
#983816 - 12/04/06 12:56 PM Re: Your greatest frustration  
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Lisztner: Very nice on the prelude. It's one of my favorites, maybe because it's one of 6 that I can play. Did you get a clue for the name because Chopin had an extreme fear of being buried alive (as did his father)?

Yes, please do post it one the Totally Devoted to Chopin Thread for all us "avid fans" to hear.

Kathleen


After playing Chopin, I feel as if I had been weeping over sins that I had never committed, and mourning over tragedies that were not my own." Oscar Wilde, 1891
#983817 - 12/04/06 01:24 PM Re: Your greatest frustration  
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wolfindmist Offline
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In a state full of Volcanoes
My greatest frustration is....
getting frustrated.

Too many things to list as far as frustrations go... so I won't bother to list them.

My current frustration is figuring out a way to situate my keyboard comfortably in from of my computer station. Anybody have a picture or can describe how they made their music workstations comfy and easy to navigate around?


I have my own weapon of mass destruction in the form of a "teenage" German Shepherd. Anything she spies and can get ahold of is fair game.
#983818 - 12/04/06 07:48 PM Re: Your greatest frustration  
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I'm in the process of making up that list. So now's the time to get your 2 cents although I think we're pretty much covered it all.


After playing Chopin, I feel as if I had been weeping over sins that I had never committed, and mourning over tragedies that were not my own." Oscar Wilde, 1891
#983819 - 12/04/06 08:53 PM Re: Your greatest frustration  
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Lisztener Offline
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Lisztener  Offline
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Kathleen and Mel,

Thank you for your kind words on my play and advice to post in the "Just for those totally devoted to Chopin" thread.

I'll post information there about the names given to Chopin's Preludes.



#983820 - 12/04/06 10:42 PM Re: Your greatest frustration  
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apple* Offline
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Joined: Jan 2003
Posts: 19,862
Kansas
growing older is very sad
we will miss the things we've had

we wake and it's another day
yesterday has slipped away

with every taken breath
we are closer to our death

i know that there will come a day
when i'll lack the competence to play.


accompanist/organist.. a non-MTNA teacher to a few

love and peace, Õun (apple in Estonian)
#983821 - 12/05/06 06:45 AM Re: Your greatest frustration  
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Van Offline
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Van  Offline
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S. California
Ah, but life's a dream
A moment's breath
A whispered sigh
There is no death

In darkness or light
As night follows day
So music lingers
Before it fades.


[Linked Image]
#983822 - 12/05/06 07:00 AM Re: Your greatest frustration  
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Ragnhild Offline
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Norway
My greatest frustration is all the seconds, minutes and hours of my life that I am forced to spend on other things than music. frown

And, Matt, I would also like to add, popular adults ! mad

Ragnhild


Trying to play the piano:
http://www.box.net/public/dbr23ll03e
#983823 - 12/05/06 09:52 AM Re: Your greatest frustration  
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Patty39 Offline
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Germany, near Cologne
I have another one - that nobody bothers to really listen and understand when we talk about it (I could spend hours on that, actually it is not surprising :rolleyes: , except of course and luckily this outstanding forum.

Patty


In love with life
#983824 - 12/05/06 10:51 AM Re: Your greatest frustration  
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SAnnM AB 2001 Offline
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Yeah...those eyes glaze over all the time when I talk music. Except at lessons!


It's the journey not the destination..
[Linked Image]
#983825 - 12/05/06 02:12 PM Re: Your greatest frustration  
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Canada
Just had a lesson. My most frustrating thing still is how poorly I can sometimes (ahem ...often) play at a lesson.... I want to play well after all the practice during the week but it usually falls apart, if not right away then, half way through...grrrrrr


It's the journey not the destination..
[Linked Image]
#983826 - 12/06/06 12:46 PM Re: Your greatest frustration  
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Pianolina  Offline
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My biggest frustration is having an old injury flare up and hinder my progress. Health obviously comes first, so better to cut back on practice or choose less technical pieces until the problem clears. Not that it's a very bad injury at this point... But better safe than sorry frown .

#983827 - 12/06/06 01:52 PM Re: Your greatest frustration  
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Pianolina: So good to hear from you. I hope you are OK.

Best regards,
Kathleen


After playing Chopin, I feel as if I had been weeping over sins that I had never committed, and mourning over tragedies that were not my own." Oscar Wilde, 1891
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