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Is it safe?

Posted By: The Monkeys

Is it safe? - 04/30/19 12:16 AM

My son is learning a piece which is quite faster for him (Revolutionary Etude if it matters). Playing it at full speed is challenging for him.

At the pace to complete the piece in around 4 minutes, he feels comfortable. When he tries to push it to around 3 minutes, his forearms get very tired very quickly. It seems he is able to play any segment at that speed, but not the whole thing together at one go. The teacher just suggests him to practice more.

I ask the teacher if it could hurt if he keeps pushing it. She said he was just tired, not pain or anything, so it should be OK.

When he pushes it, he feels the heat on his forearms. Is it really safe to keep pushing it?
Posted By: Andamento

Re: Is it safe? - 04/30/19 03:12 AM

No, it's not safe to keep pushing it when he feels heat in his forearms. He's playing with tension, and it's a recipe for disaster if he keeps practicing more in this way.

He needs feedback from an observer who can both identify what he's doing physically that is causing this tension, and can suggest how to adjust to get rid of the tension.
Posted By: Iaroslav Vasiliev

Re: Is it safe? - 04/30/19 04:32 AM

I agree with Andamento.
Posted By: The Monkeys

Re: Is it safe? - 04/30/19 06:12 AM

I thought so. Glad I asked.

One problem is, he is not communicating with his teacher well. He doesn't really want to tell his teacher his problem like it makes him look weak or something. I have been observing on the sideline and decided to step in, and he is kind of mad at me now.
Posted By: Tyrone Slothrop

Re: Is it safe? - 04/30/19 07:38 AM

Originally Posted by The Monkeys
I have been observing on the sideline and decided to step in, and he is kind of mad at me now.

I think it is completely appropriate for parents to step in on health-related issues with their kids. And playing with tension is a health-related issue. If your kids appeared really sick and he refused to go to the doctor and was mad at you for suggesting it, you'd still make him go, right?
Posted By: pianist_lady

Re: Is it safe? - 05/01/19 02:21 PM

Something else to consider is that the student may have reached a plateau at this stage in his technical development, and it may not be possible for him to play faster right now, even with further practice. If that's the case, hopefully the teacher could recognise it.
Posted By: The Monkeys

Re: Is it safe? - 05/01/19 05:51 PM

The teacher said he should practice at least 4 times more than the amount of time he is currently spending on piano now per week.
Obviously, that is not going to happen, with his busy high school life. Many of the issues are attributed to lack of practices, for good reasons. I just wasn't sure about this one, at least not entirely.

Tyrone Slothrop, he said he knows his body better than I do, he knows when to go to see a doctor. He handed me the parent-teacher conference notice, and asked: "Can you not go? Please don't go... You are going? Can you not talk about me? ..... What to talk about? I don't know, anything, just don't talk about me. ..... Just listen, don't talk"
Posted By: Tyrone Slothrop

Re: Is it safe? - 05/01/19 06:01 PM

Originally Posted by The Monkeys
Tyrone Slothrop, he said he knows his body better than I do, he knows when to go to see a doctor. He handed me the parent-teacher conference notice, and asked: "Can you not go? Please don't go... You are going? Can you not talk about me? ..... What to talk about? I don't know, anything, just don't talk about me. ..... Just listen, don't talk"

I hear you! Not going to tell you how to manage your kid, but I used to hear the same thing from my daughter. Yep. Nope. She could manager her own life when she turned 18, but until then...
Posted By: AZNpiano

Re: Is it safe? - 05/02/19 11:49 PM

Originally Posted by The Monkeys
Tyrone Slothrop, he said he knows his body better than I do, he knows when to go to see a doctor. He handed me the parent-teacher conference notice, and asked: "Can you not go? Please don't go... You are going? Can you not talk about me? ..... What to talk about? I don't know, anything, just don't talk about me. ..... Just listen, don't talk"

This sounds very typical. I have three students like that right now, and one of them is only in 7th grade.
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