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Disappointment in practice...

Posted By: drweb86

Disappointment in practice... - 05/20/19 08:58 PM

Good evening,

I want to ask for your advice, is there any sense in continuing courses of playing piano.

I bought synth in December 2017 and went to piano lessons. I wanted to play something for myself, some covers for game music and produce music and play it in band.

Initially I worked with teacher and at home. We selected some piece and were trying to learn it by heart Initially I worked for 1,5 hours per day at home. In 4 months, motivation decreased drastically. I finished learning my first piece. I understood that when pianist plays for pieces in a row – he shares with public his year of life of constant practice in those pieces.

Then I started to work at home for 45 min per day and I had to force myself into working out. After few more months I took a break for 2 months and then continued.

The main issue is that it’s hard to practice. After 10 hours of work I’m tired and learning of a new piece drives my brain crazy and exhausted. I had to force myself into practice.

Also, I investigated how much time professionals do their practice and found out that they spend 3 hours per day within 7 years just to make their level normal. And I understand that my hour per day is hardly comparable to 3-4 hours of playing per day.

However, I’m finishing learning the music theory

So, I want to ask you
- is it enough to have something like beginner level synth level to try myself in the band. I’m 32 now.
- is there any sense in continuing learning piano. I have good emotions out of playing parts that I know. But finding time for practicing and disciplining myself sucks.

Thanks
Posted By: Pau Gasol

Re: Disappointment in practice... - 05/20/19 09:09 PM

I doubt most people here practice 3 or 4 hours a day. Most aren't professionals though.

Try a half hour each day. Too much might burn you out but a short practice each day might be ideal. No matter how much you practice, it takes many years to become really good, at least for most people.
Posted By: Wayne2467

Re: Disappointment in practice... - 05/20/19 09:16 PM

Best not to look too far ahead- practise when you can and make them quality sessions when you feel fresher.
Posted By: BigIslandGuy

Re: Disappointment in practice... - 05/20/19 09:17 PM

I guess it comes down to how much you really want to learn how to play piano. People tend to do whatever they have to for things that are of the highest priority.

I'm sure I won't be the last to remind you of what you already know, which is that you have to be patient. There are no fast tracks to learning the piano. However, if you learn to practice efficiently, you don't have to devote hours and hours every day. An hour a day of dedicated, efficient practice will make for satisfying progress that motivates you and above all, makes it enjoyable, not a death march. I am not a teacher but plenty of folks here are and can give you some excellent advice on how to make practice time more effective.
Hang in there!
Posted By: One Ohm

Re: Disappointment in practice... - 05/20/19 09:23 PM

Motivation will naturally come and go for most of us. Remember, it is supposed to be fun, so don't make a job out of it. One way I deal with long work days is to practice 15-45min early in the morning and then practice again in the evenings (most, not all). That way, if i come home super exhausted in the evening and am just too tired to get in a good practice, I know I at least got in some practice that morning. It is a marathon, not a race. The important part is to be consistently moving towards your goals. Even if that movement seems very slow.

Now, I have played in a lot of bands, so I think I can comment on that. I'm assuming you are interested in pop/rock type bands? That does not require you to be a virtuoso on the piano. Instead you need to know some basics and how to play with other musicians. I suggest you start reading the keyboard player forum (http://forums.musicplayer.com/ubbthreads.php/forums/18/1/The_Keyboard_Corner). Learn your basic chords and inversions. Then listen to other keyboard players in bands...listen a lot. Try to work out, by ear, what they are doing. Most formal piano teachers (classical) don't have a clue how to really play in a band so don't expect them to be helpful. It is simple, but not obvious. Just because someone can play advanced piano, does not mean they can play with a band and sound good. It is a different skill.

Finally, don't get discouraged. It takes time and patience to learn a musical instrument. It is worth it and will be something you can enjoy your entire life. There will be times you need a break. That is ok. Just enjoy the journey. Another resource to check out for Rock is iRocku.com. They have easy to hard levels lessons. Again, the best thing is to listen to music you like and try to work out how it is being played. Have fun with it. Rock on!!
Posted By: Stubbie

Re: Disappointment in practice... - 05/20/19 10:32 PM

Welcome to the ABF!

Pay no attention to how long professionals practice. The amount of time they say they practice is all over the place. Thirty minutes to an hour is sufficient for the early years. Do try to get in some practice each day: you need a night's sleep for the brain to consolidate grow new connections, and then practice again the following days to consolidate the new connections.

Practicing effectively when you are physically and/or mentally exhausted is difficult to pull off. Sometimes 20 min in the morning before going to work is worth an hour or two when you're tired and distracted. Many people don't feel they are 'morning' people, but it's worth giving it a try, if at all possible.

Learning to play the piano is not for the faint-hearted. It takes time and effort and patience. The rewards are huge, though. It is such a rush to make music happen. P.S. If you no longer have a teacher, you might want to start up again. It really helps having real, live feed-back and for me, anyway, knowing I have a lesson coming up helps me get to the piano and practice!
Posted By: NobleHouse

Re: Disappointment in practice... - 05/20/19 10:48 PM

You have to remember to keep it fun and interesting for yourself. Choose (or have your teacher choose) music that interests you. And as others have said, practice daily, even if for a short time period. And you need to have patience for sure. It does take a while.
Posted By: Tyrone Slothrop

Re: Disappointment in practice... - 05/21/19 12:45 AM

Originally Posted by NobleHouse
You have to remember to keep it fun and interesting for yourself. Choose (or have your teacher choose) music that interests you. And as others have said, practice daily, even if for a short time period. And you need to have patience for sure. It does take a while.

Agreed. The OP will not be able to sustain this long-term, no matter how laudable the goal if the process of getting "there" is a constant chore.
Posted By: cmb13

Re: Disappointment in practice... - 05/21/19 01:04 AM

Revised expectations may help.

Also the whole theory of the MOYD is that just sitting down for 5 min per day is enough. Five minutes usually turns into 45 min if you love it; there progress can be made.
Posted By: BigIslandGuy

Re: Disappointment in practice... - 05/21/19 01:24 AM

Originally Posted by cmb13
Also the whole theory of the MOYD is that just sitting down for 5 min per day is enough. Five minutes usually turns into 45 min if you love it; there progress can be made.


+1
Posted By: Emery Wang

Re: Disappointment in practice... - 05/21/19 05:00 AM

I too have little energy to practice after work. However, I started playing in the early morning a couple years ago. I find I have good energy then, it helps me wake up, and I actually look forward to it each night before. So maybe changing your schedule might help? Trying to practice after a long day when you're tired may be too big a mountain for anyone to climb.

Good luck!
Posted By: Animisha

Re: Disappointment in practice... - 05/21/19 06:12 AM

Originally Posted by drweb86
After 10 hours of work I’m tired and learning of a new piece drives my brain crazy and exhausted. I had to force myself into practice.

A ten hours working day is quite a lot. Maybe for you these ten hours is enough exertion, and what you need most after work is not more exertion by trying to learn to play the piano, but to relax, take a walk, a long bath, hang out with a friend, watch television.

Just maybe!
Posted By: dogperson

Re: Disappointment in practice... - 05/21/19 07:51 AM

Originally Posted by Animisha
Originally Posted by drweb86
After 10 hours of work I’m tired and learning of a new piece drives my brain crazy and exhausted. I had to force myself into practice.

A ten hours working day is quite a lot. Maybe for you these ten hours is enough exertion, and what you need most after work is not more exertion by trying to learn to play the piano, but to relax, take a walk, a long bath, hang out with a friend, watch television.

Just maybe!


Sadly, If I waited to practice the piano on a day where I only work eight hours, I would never practice. My average work day is between 10 and 13 hours per day. That is one reason why it is essential for me to practice mindfully because practicing long hours is not a mental possibility. I know I’m not alone in this; in the US we do not have laws that prohibit salaried workers from long hours. Piano practice not only needs to be focused but also such a pleasurable activity
That it is an escape from the workday. If it becomes drudgery, we will fail
Posted By: Animisha

Re: Disappointment in practice... - 05/21/19 08:33 AM

Originally Posted by dogperson
Originally Posted by Animisha
Originally Posted by drweb86
After 10 hours of work I’m tired and learning of a new piece drives my brain crazy and exhausted. I had to force myself into practice.

A ten hours working day is quite a lot. Maybe for you these ten hours is enough exertion, and what you need most after work is not more exertion by trying to learn to play the piano, but to relax, take a walk, a long bath, hang out with a friend, watch television.

Just maybe!

Sadly, If I waited to practice the piano on a day where I only work eight hours, I would never practice. My average work day is between 10 and 13 hours per day. That is one reason why it is essential for me to practice mindfully because practicing long hours is not a mental possibility. I know I’m not alone in this; in the US we do not have laws that prohibit salaried workers from long hours.

I am not saying that nobody who works ten hours cannot practise the piano. We are all different. When I worked eight hours, most of the time I was way too tired to practise the piano. So for me, eight hours was too much. But then I was on my way to a burnout, I just didn't know it yet...

Originally Posted by dogperson
Piano practice not only needs to be focused but also such a pleasurable activity
That it is an escape from the workday. If it becomes drudgery, we will fail

Yes! If you feel it is pleasurable and an escape, it is wonderful. But the OP says: "drives my brain crazy and exhausted". And due to my burnout, I am very wary of exhausted brains.
Posted By: TomInCinci

Re: Disappointment in practice... - 05/21/19 11:11 AM

For me, after work practice was a joke. I usually intended to work 8 hours but too often the projects were mismanaged and the developers were asked to work extra. And I was a sucker for that. I absolutely had to practice in the morning.

Somehow, at least according to my teacher, on those projects where I was being worked to death and had no time to spare, my practice was more effective. Not that I'm anyone's poster boy for normalcy...
Posted By: ShyPianist

Re: Disappointment in practice... - 05/21/19 11:18 AM

Originally Posted by TomInCinci
For me, after work practice was a joke. I usually intended to work 8 hours but too often the projects were mismanaged and the developers were asked to work extra. And I was a sucker for that. I absolutely had to practice in the morning.

Somehow, at least according to my teacher, on those projects where I was being worked to death and had no time to spare, my practice was more effective. Not that I'm anyone's poster boy for normalcy...


I too really struggle with practice after a full day’s work, not helped by having a young family which means it’s late in the evening before I get time to myself. Mornings would be ideal but that means getting up very early to beat the pre-school chaos, and I’m just too tired at the moment. Catch 22 that I’m struggling to resolve. I work from home so I try to do some at lunchtime but that too often goes by the wayside as that “one more” email comes in that leads to me eating at my desk. I am so full on back into music now that I am really starting to resent my work, which isn’t very sensible of me but I can’t help it!
Posted By: David B

Re: Disappointment in practice... - 05/21/19 11:47 AM

Here are some indispensable elements you need when learning how to play the piano.

Piano...digital or acoustic

Clearly you have that.

Time to practice

Sounds like you have the time. You were practicing 1.5 hours a day and that's pretty good for an adult beginner.

Proper Training

This could come in the form of a good teacher or a self learning course, or a combination of both. You have to find something that works for you and will help you reach the goals that you have.

Motivation

Based on your testimony, this is where your struggle is. You can have a piano, time to practice, and proper training, but as you are experiencing, you will not bear fruit if you don't have the motivation to sit down and practice regularly.

What can increase motivation?

1. Results can improve motivation. The more you can discern meaningful improvement, the more you'll develop a discipline to practice.

2. Faith in the training you are committed to. If you really believe the teacher or self training materials you are using will help you reach your goals, you'll be motivated to practice regularly.

3. Enjoyment in what you are doing. If you don't like the course you are taking or the teacher, you'll have to try something/someone else. Motivation will not come unless you find a fair degree of happiness in what you are doing.

As an adult beginner myself, my counsel to you is to identify your goals, both short and long-term. Short term goals are more relevant while long-term goals are more of a possibility hoping to be realized someday.

Then find the Proper Training that works for you to help you meet your short term goals. Try different teachers or courses. Try courses playing by ear or chord based courses. It's absolutely imperative you find the proper training that will help you see results, increase your faith in what you are doing, and provide some enjoyment in the process. It sounds like the current teacher/training program you're on isn't working for you. You'll have to find something that does if you hope to continue.

There is always the possibility that leaning how to play the piano is not how you want to spend your time. But that is anathema to us here since this is a piano forum. smile

God Bless,
David
Posted By: KevinM

Re: Disappointment in practice... - 05/21/19 11:58 AM

Originally Posted by ShyPianist

I too really struggle with practice after a full day’s work, not helped by having a young family which means it’s late in the evening before I get time to myself. Mornings would be ideal but that means getting up very early to beat the pre-school chaos, and I’m just too tired at the moment. Catch 22 that I’m struggling to resolve. I work from home so I try to do some at lunchtime but that too often goes by the wayside as that “one more” email comes in that leads to me eating at my desk. I am so full on back into music now that I am really starting to resent my work, which isn’t very sensible of me but I can’t help it!


My job is great, the best one I've had since I started working far too long ago, like you I work from home and also like you I'm starting to resent the time work takes away from practise. As adult learners we all have other responsibilities that practise and lessons have to be worked around and all we can do is to practise when we can and in my case keep the missing of lessons to a minimum. This week it is my teachers fault though. She's handing her thesis in today, defending it tomorrow and then off to blow off some steam for a few days. I can't say i can blame her though.
Posted By: Tyrone Slothrop

Re: Disappointment in practice... - 05/21/19 12:11 PM

Originally Posted by KevinM
Originally Posted by ShyPianist
I too really struggle with practice after a full day’s work, not helped by having a young family which means it’s late in the evening before I get time to myself. Mornings would be ideal but that means getting up very early to beat the pre-school chaos, and I’m just too tired at the moment. Catch 22 that I’m struggling to resolve. I work from home so I try to do some at lunchtime but that too often goes by the wayside as that “one more” email comes in that leads to me eating at my desk. I am so full on back into music now that I am really starting to resent my work, which isn’t very sensible of me but I can’t help it!
My job is great, the best one I've had since I started working far too long ago, like you I work from home and also like you I'm starting to resent the time work takes away from practise. As adult learners we all have other responsibilities that practise and lessons have to be worked around and all we can do is to practise when we can and in my case keep the missing of lessons to a minimum. This week it is my teachers fault though. She's handing her thesis in today, defending it tomorrow and then off to blow off some steam for a few days. I can't say i can blame her though.

I usually practice between 2-4am, although occasionally I do it earlier, although rarely before midnight. As such, I can't think of anything that cuts into my practice time.
Posted By: KevinM

Re: Disappointment in practice... - 05/21/19 12:18 PM

I have a need, a need for sleep.

If I'm practising at those times, then I'll need to be sleeping when I should be working. eek
Posted By: Morodiene

Re: Disappointment in practice... - 05/21/19 12:49 PM

I think you need to be more efficient with your practice time. Split it up in 15-min segments. You could do 15 min in the morning and 15 in the evening, and if you feel like it, continue for another 15 min the evening.

The way this works is that you have very discrete tasks predetermined - i.e., work on m. 12-15 in the Mendelssohn. Make a list for each piece you're working on. You may even get more than one task done in a session, but if you get only that task done, then you've made progress. Every few days play straight through your pieces to maintain the easier parts as well and see how your progress is.

Also, be sure to work on shorter pieces - nothing more than a few pages, I think, or it will take up too much of your time (unless it's an easy piece for you).

We all have seasons where we don't have the time we want for piano. I'd love to spend 3-4 hours per day, but other performances means "my" music gets put to the wayside. So then I just do what I can to tread water, and come back to it when things calm down. Hopefully your schedule will calm down a bit, but in the meantime, all any of us can do is the best they can with the time they have.
Posted By: dmd

Re: Disappointment in practice... - 05/21/19 02:02 PM

Originally Posted by drweb86
Initially I worked with teacher and at home. We selected some piece and were trying to learn it by heart ...


This sounds like you have started with learning to play pieces that might be a bit too difficult for you.

It does not sound like a normal teacher-student relationship for a complete beginner.

Normallly, you would begin with some sort of method book and go to lessons periodically as you work through the method book page by page.

That way … you experience success as you are able to master the material on each page as you progress.

Are you doing that but just didn't mention it ?

If not … I would consider a different teacher or starting over with a method book with the same teacher.

You will be able to do this …. just not as fast as you thought.

Take your time and enjoy a half-hour each day of practice while forget about how fast you are progressing.

Just keep going …. little by little …. inch by inch.

It takes years of practice but if you keep going …. you will learn ….as we all do …. very slowly.
Posted By: Charles Cohen

Re: Disappointment in practice... - 05/21/19 04:11 PM

Originally Posted by drweb86
. . .
So, I want to ask you
- (a) is it enough to have something like beginner level synth level to try myself in the band. I’m 32 now.
- (b) is there any sense in continuing learning piano. I have good emotions out of playing parts that I know. But finding time for practicing and disciplining myself sucks.


(a) That depends on the band. If it's a group of amateurs, playing their own music, not masters of their instruments, you might be able to fit in. If it's a group of professionals, playing standard jazz / pop songs from lead sheets (or without lead sheets), in all keys, probably not.

I might ask the question differently:

. . . Is your playing good enough, so that I'd be happy to pay to listen to you?

That's the line between "amateur" and "professional"-quality playing.

You might try asking that question in the "Piano - Non-classical" forum.

(b) What I've learned from experience:

. . . How well I play, depends on how much I practice.

So you must see if your life, and your goals, are consistent:

. . . Is there some amount of practice time, that you can realistically do,
. . . . that will give you enough skill to play well enough to satisfy _you_ ?

If the answer is "No", you'll be frustrated until you change your goals, or change your life to increase your practice time.

Quote
However, I’m finishing learning the music theory


What "music theory" are you finishing learning? Do you know enough to follow a jazz lead sheet? Do you know enough to write down the harmonic structure of a song, as you listen to it? Studying "music theory" changes, as you learn more, but IMHO it is never finished.
Posted By: drweb86

Re: Disappointment in practice... - 05/21/19 09:50 PM

Pau Gasol,

Thanks for your thoughts. I just read Quora and some music school forums about how much people practicing. And found that they practice that much. And those numbers drived me crazy, huh.
However the idea of adjusting time to the limits i can offer myself is promising. Thanks for your input.

Wayne2467,

I tried practicing when I'm fine. Soon I found soon that I'm fine with short practice sessions, like 15 minutes before work, and can do 2 hours on Sundays. But when I'm thinking that some guyz spend 4 hour per day and i'm doing like this time within week, im asking myself such questions))) Can it be that short practice sessions are enough.

BigIslandGuy,

Thanks, seems like community is important to keep those workouts going, huh. Thanks.

One Ohm,

Thanks for your thoughts about short practice sessions in the mornings and in the evenings. I read much about staff like motivations and discipline, however i understand that its like almost impossible to move on pure motivation. Consistent practice isn't that sugar thing. Sometimes i had to repeat for myself why im doing it.).
Thanks for cheering me up and usefull tips about what to put attention on. Actually teacher gives me pieces of classic music and I'm doing the best to get it done! Thanks for your so great and inspiring post.

Stubbie

Thanks for your valuable input regarding practice schedule. Actually i'm fine playing short session in the morning. But i was punching myself for it shortness.) I'm just thinking to continue going to teacher.
Its a shame to admit but feeling guilty of not doing homework inspires to do best!

NobleHouse

I tried to do it for fun - to start from pieces i know and then switch to practicing new staff. It works for me, however i practice less time hard staff upon session. Thanks for your thoughts!

Tyrone Slothrop,

Isn't discipline works like this - to do some routines each day in a hope that sometime in future it'll bring valuable likable result). Thanks for your input.
You're really devoted to practice. As for me it will be hard to not sleep at this time 2-4am.

cmb13,

Thanks. I exploited that trick even if it doesn't constantly work! Hey let's sit for 2 minutes. But i need to hurry to work! Oh nothing bad happens if to spend 2 minutes on yourself! And then it converts to short session!

Emery Wang,

Thanks. Seems like short term practice before work is some sort of golden bullet. I can do such staff indeed.

Animisha,

Thanks. Actually i'm walking for 30 mins after work with turned off brain to make it relax. When i don't do it, at home im for hour or two like an eating before tablet zombie.).
I started implementing short 5-10 minutes rest intervals at work, so my brain is less burned out.

dogperson,

I don't think its possible to practice without brain on piano. It takes soooo much attention. Yea, long working hours is something like a bad joke on a freedom of a person. I imaging if full time job took just 6 hours!

TomInCinci,

I'm the developer as well. What I'm trying to do to rest more - it to add 5-minutes intervals at work when i just switch to non-work staff (jokes with collegaus, etc), so the brain can rest more.

ShyPianist,

Working at home is one of your greatest advantages. You can do 3 super short sessions - like for 7 minutes through the day and don't have to spend time on transport!

David B,

Thank you for so large and systematic post. I will think over it. Indeed, i have issues with results - they come at a huge amount of time and effort. My first piece took me 4 monthes to get done. Also thanks for the advice to look around to see if there're courses that can inspire me in different way. It's very itneresting.

KevinM,

Yes being an adult means like finding the true harmony between different sphears. Of couse it means that each sphear can't get ideal (=100%) of my time.
Good luck with your efforts to do your best!

Morodiene,

Thanks for your input about taking short practice sessions in the morning and in the evening. Seems like its the most ballanced solution. Also splitting piece in a short pieces that can be practiced separately within short session is like a staff i will give a try for sure.

dmd,

Actually i was practicing just trying to play pieces. She gave an introduction how to read sheet and we started with Bethhoven.
Thanks for thought about some method book. I will investigate that. Actually now suspended working with it and i'm finishing learning music theory by online courses.

Charles Cohen,

Well. Your thoughts are very true. I might need some more time to think it over.
Posted By: JazzyMac

Re: Disappointment in practice... - 05/22/19 01:03 AM

Can you (or someone) please explain this phrase?

"I understood that when pianist plays for pieces in a row – he shares with public his year of life of constant practice in those pieces."
Posted By: Charles Cohen

Re: Disappointment in practice... - 05/22/19 06:50 AM

Quote
. . . She gave an introduction how to read sheet and we started with Beethoven. . . .



???????

I think that is a _very_ strange teaching method. Most Beethoven is too difficult for most beginners.

There is some very easy Beethoven, and some very talented beginners, that might make it work.

. . . Which Beethoven are you learning?

Thanks --
Posted By: Animisha

Re: Disappointment in practice... - 05/22/19 07:20 AM

Originally Posted by JazzyMac
Can you (or someone) please explain this phrase?

"I understood that when pianist plays for pieces in a row – he shares with public his year of life of constant practice in those pieces."


I think that the OP meant: plays four pieces in a row - and in order to be able to do that, the pianist has to practise these four pieces for a year.
Posted By: Animisha

Re: Disappointment in practice... - 05/22/19 07:31 AM

Originally Posted by Charles Cohen
Quote
. . . She gave an introduction how to read sheet and we started with Beethoven. . . .



???????

I think that is a _very_ strange teaching method. Most Beethoven is too difficult for most beginners.

There is some very easy Beethoven, and some very talented beginners, that might make it work.

. . . Which Beethoven are you learning?

Thanks --




Charles, haven't you played Ode to Joy as part of your beginners' lessons? laugh

[Linked Image]

PS. The website that published this score says that this is free sheet music, so I think it is okay to copy the score in this message.
Posted By: Charles Cohen

Re: Disappointment in practice... - 05/22/19 03:08 PM

Ahhh -- I forgot about "adapted Beethoven" - you're right.
Posted By: Pau Gasol

Re: Disappointment in practice... - 05/22/19 03:20 PM

Originally Posted by One Ohm
I suggest you start reading the keyboard player forum (http://forums.musicplayer.com/ubbthreads.php/forums/18/1/The_Keyboard_Corner).


Thanks for the link (and the other advice too)! Lots to read there.
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