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Often I feel like I'm slow at learning anything and recently I began working on a new song from a lead sheet as a piano solo. I'll have the song polished in another week and sure enough today I was thinking "why am I so slow and this is taking so long" Then I looked back at my journal entries and added up my minutes on it and it was 7 hours total! While I have been working on it for 5 weeks I realized I dont practice it daily and it's small sessions on it. When I realized this, suddenly I didn't feel like a slow learner, instead I was very proud of myself that I nearly have it polished at 7 hours and it's from a lead sheet which is new to me. I know 5 weeks is still lengthy and it's not a complex song, still I could not be happier to see how well I can play it after 7 hours. Now there are parts of it where I can let loose and really hear the harmony and melody and add some expression. I was about to call it quits on this piece and be like "ok I got enough from it" but now that I can see what polished parts feel like I want to take the entire piece to that level. I put this much time and effort in it might as well finish it up and have a performance ready piece for once!

Sorry for the long random rant but I thought it would be good to also share some positive feedback of a good day. Thanks for all the support as a lot of this is from the help of all the members here!!

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Congrats, it’s a wonderful feeling when a piece starts to come together! It doesn’t matter how long it takes, the culmination is always such a great accomplishment. 😊❤️👍


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Congrats Sebs!

You probably don’t see it on a daily basis, but you do have achievements— a lot more than you realize. Enjoy them because they are both well-earned and motivating. I’m looking forward to a recording of your first polished piece 😺


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Originally Posted by ebonyk
Congrats, it’s a wonderful feeling when a piece starts to come together! It doesn’t matter how long it takes, the culmination is always such a great accomplishment. 😊❤️👍

Thanks! It was a good reminder for me to quit thinking that I'm slow and how long 'should' it take but instead enjoy the process.

Originally Posted by dogperson
Congrats Sebs!

You probably don’t see it on a daily basis, but you do have achievements— a lot more than you realize. Enjoy them because they are both well-earned and motivating. I’m looking forward to a recording of your first polished piece 😺

Thanks! I agree and I'm working on trying to change my thinking a bit. Often I'm too hard on myself being a my own critic, being so serious and stressing out about progress, etc. I'm sure we all have that or had it at one point. The more experience I gain the more I'm enjoying it and realizing I've come a long way and having more fun with playing rather than overthinking it.

Last edited by Sebs; 06/10/21 11:13 PM.
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In my younger days I was a slow learner. My first piano lessons at age 5 lasted only for a month. 3 decades later I got a keyboard and started as an adult learner and enjoy playing everyday.

I lacked the talent & inclination to get into piano in my younger days. Due to life circumstance I couldn't get into playing before age 10. Otherwise I would be much further ahead. I listened to recordings of piano music for many years but would never imagine playing some of these pieces.

Shouldn't blame yourself for being slow as long as you are enjoying yourself. Love to hear your recording when you're ready.

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Well done. sebs..I think you are way too hard on yourself. It’s a personal journey and as a sports trainer once told me: the fact you showed up is enough. Embrace the plateaus and celebrate when you notice the ‘jump’ in the learning.


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I think that, at a certain level, we all start out as slow learners but learn to become faster learners with experience. Well done!

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Originally Posted by Pianoperformance
Well done. sebs..I think you are way too hard on yourself. It’s a personal journey and as a sports trainer once told me: the fact you showed up is enough. Embrace the plateaus and celebrate when you notice the ‘jump’ in the learning.

I am but I'm working towards not being as hard on myself and it's improving, work in progress. Yes! and when you show up you're still progressing, no matter how big or small. I always think of this quote “Never discourage anyone...who continually makes progress, no matter how slow.”

Originally Posted by ranjit
I think that, at a certain level, we all start out as slow learners but learn to become faster learners with experience. Well done!

For sure. I'm getting better at practicing, developing patience, and making progress. Funny thing is I would never have thought it would take years just to get somewhat decent at practicing. After a few years you realize everything in music takes time, a lot of time. Some styles of pop I want to play are still going to be a ways out but if you asked me at day one I would probably think I could be playing them within a few months. I imagine this is why there are not many pianist and why so many quit after a few months.

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I think that the less you are willing (able?) to concentrate on being a slow(er) learner, the more you will be able to settle in and enjoy the journey. That, really, is what piano study is all about, given the time and effort it takes us to reach certain goals. The goals are rewarding when they are achieved, certainly, but the journey, too, should have its rewards.

Good for you!

Regards,


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Yes, a wonderful feeling when you have achieved something and that it has gone better than you thought. The road is the goal, someone said! :-)

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Originally Posted by BruceD
I think that the less you are willing (able?) to concentrate on being a slow(er) learner, the more you will be able to settle in and enjoy the journey. That, really, is what piano study is all about, given the time and effort it takes us to reach certain goals. The goals are rewarding when they are achieved, certainly, but the journey, too, should have its rewards.

Good for you!

Regards,

Absolutely. I have no idea where this culture of slow/fast learning comes from. I'm realizing there is no slow or fast learning in music. There are no set time tables to anything in music. Such as, there's no rule that says you should be able to X in X amount of minutes, now go measure your speed.

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Well done Sebs! I'm a very slow learner but I'm used to taking the scenic route, and sure it's a nicer journey than speeding down the motorway! There's time to take in the scenery and appreciate the little things.
I think a lot of my attitude is age related. I'm 51. I'm never going to be amazing, so I've no great urgency to get good quickly.

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Originally Posted by TessB
Well done Sebs! I'm a very slow learner but I'm used to taking the scenic route, and sure it's a nicer journey than speeding down the motorway! There's time to take in the scenery and appreciate the little things.
I think a lot of my attitude is age related. I'm 51. I'm never going to be amazing, so I've no great urgency to get good quickly.

Sure you are, you probably already are. The way I see it is one can skip playing all together and just think "If only I kept at it all those years" or you can keep plugging away next thing you know a few years passes and you're pretty damn good and better than before.

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Exactly! I'm playing and learning and it's all more progress than I'd have made just sitting reading or watching Netflix!

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"The secret of life is enjoying the passage of time."- James Taylor

"The reward is in the work." - My Boss used to say this all the time.

"The key to happiness is low expectations." - Read it somewhere, and is my motto now.

All of these ring true and especially when it comes to piano. Frustration occurs easily from expecting too much too soon and there have been many threads of this nature over the years I've seen since participated here.

"I imagine this is why there are not many pianist and why so many quit after a few months."

Yes, and I've met many over my time that have got their grade 8 even, at a young age and haven't touched any instrument since. I guess it was their goal, but a lifetime of enjoyment from being able to play well wasn't part of that goal.

For me, if you just play/practice a little (or a lot, but at minimum a little) every day, you'll slowly become better and better and after many years, you'll surprise yourself at how good you've become. But the key is enjoying the process of it and not in the achievement of some milestone or dream piece.

Keeping at it is absolutely more important than any other single thing, I think.


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