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Posted By: MusicJunkie Getting motivated to practice - 08/16/14 03:58 PM
I've been struggling with making time in my life to practice piano for quite a while. But it always wasn't like this. I remember when I was younger (around 5 to 8), I would practice for a pretty long time, sometimes up to 1 1/2 hours. I remember I really enjoyed playing piano. But now that I'm older, I'm having trouble practicing piano. I don't feel motivated to do it. I even have to force myself to play sometimes. But when I start practicing, time just flies. I truly do enjoy playing the piano but I feel like I lost that enjoyment of practicing from when I was younger. Does anyone have any tips to help get me motivated to practice piano again?
Posted By: phantomFive Re: Getting motivated to practice - 08/16/14 05:07 PM
It sounds like (correct me if I'm wrong) you DO enjoy practicing once you get started. In that case the solution is to find a way to overcome the voice inside that encourages you to not start.

There are several ways to do that, but my preferred is to play something on the piano every day. Force yourself to sit down on the bench, and play a few notes. Even if you only play one chord, then get up again, consider that a success. Focus on beginning the practice, and succeeding at that.
Posted By: bennevis Re: Getting motivated to practice - 08/16/14 06:53 PM
Originally Posted by MusicJunkie
Does anyone have any tips to help get me motivated to practice piano again?

Why not try a different tack altogether?

Like just thinking of a tune - any tune, even a pop one - and just sitting down to improvise some variations on it. Go as OTT as you like: throw in lots of arpeggios up & down the keyboard, note clusters, glissandi etc, just have fun with it. Rediscover the joy of making music.

Also, get an album (or download for free) of fun music that you don't intend to spend time working on, but just to play through/sight-read as badly as you like grin. Again, the principle is to enjoy yourself at the piano, revel in your piano-playing abilities, not feeling like it is 'hard work'. You're not practicing, just enjoying yourself.

I don't know what your current standard is, but among the pieces I'd put in this category (of playing through them for pure entertainment) are Grieg's March of the Trolls and Wedding Day at Troldhaugen, Dvorák's Humoresque in G flat, Paderewski's Minuet in G, Mozart's Variations on 'Ah! vous dirai-je, maman', Beethoven's Rage over a Lost Penny, Handel's Harmonious Blacksmith, some Scarlatti sonatas (e.g. Kk 380, 531), Granados's Spanish Dance No.5, Albéniz's Asturias, Joplin rags......
Posted By: pianoloverus Re: Getting motivated to practice - 08/16/14 07:40 PM
Don't think of it as practicing...think of it, as Isaac Stern said, "making music".
Posted By: Kuanpiano Re: Getting motivated to practice - 08/16/14 09:45 PM
Sometimes when practising isn't pleasurable, the only way for me to touch the piano is to be accountable to other people. Scheduling concerts, having regular lessons with a teacher, committing to rehearsals with other musicians etc.

Of course, you might just try taking a holiday for a week and coming back fresh.
Posted By: Morodiene Re: Getting motivated to practice - 08/16/14 10:03 PM
If your sessions at the piano are not creative, they will be work. When they are creative, they do not feel like work. It sounds as though when you were younger you had different priorities than you do now, and that's OK. Don't try to live in the past, figure out a different way of doing things because you have changed now.

If you are making good progress, then you will want to sit down and play most of the time to continue progressing in your piece. If not, then it will mostly be like forcing yourself. So really look into good/creative practice techniques. Do a search on this forum to find out different ways people go about doing this, depending upon the issue in a passage.
Posted By: hreichgott Re: Getting motivated to practice - 08/17/14 01:17 AM
Originally Posted by phantomFive
It sounds like (correct me if I'm wrong) you DO enjoy practicing once you get started. In that case the solution is to find a way to overcome the voice inside that encourages you to not start.

agree! I think that comes through very clearly in your post smile
Posted By: BethH Re: Getting motivated to practice - 08/19/14 02:43 AM
I spent about a year and a half where I needed to do about 2-3 hours of practice every day. That was a lot for me at that time. I liked to practice, but at the same time, I didn't always feel like doing it EVERY day.

So, I gave myself permission to quit after 15 minutes of practice if I didn't feel like practicing. I would do that twice a day if I didn't feel like it.

Wow... so if I had a bad day, I still practiced for 30 minutes? That's not too bad for an amateur.

I probably only did that twice in 18 months. Once I got started I was fine with practicing. It was the agreement with myself that I could stop after 15 minutes that made it "not a chore".
Posted By: Atrys Re: Getting motivated to practice - 08/19/14 03:54 AM
This is incredibly easy to fix and it's the same prescription for everyone. Just reward yourself for practicing. Problem solved.
Posted By: phantomFive Re: Getting motivated to practice - 08/19/14 04:05 AM
Originally Posted by Atrys
This is incredibly easy to fix and it's the same prescription for everyone. Just reward yourself for practicing. Problem solved.

That doesn't work for me. If I want something, I get it. There is nothing I could reward myself with.
Posted By: Atrys Re: Getting motivated to practice - 08/19/14 04:08 AM
Originally Posted by phantomFive

That doesn't work for me.

Then you are an exception > 3sigma.
Posted By: TwoSnowflakes Re: Getting motivated to practice - 08/19/14 02:52 PM
Originally Posted by Atrys
Originally Posted by phantomFive

That doesn't work for me.

Then you are an exception > 3sigma.


Everybody is more than three standard deviations from the norm somewhere.

Some of us more than others.

crazy
Posted By: phantomFive Re: Getting motivated to practice - 08/19/14 03:49 PM
Anyway, for me the real reward is being able to play the piano better. That os why I practice, after all
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