Happy New Year!!
This lesson is for individuals who have been a student of the piano for quite some time.
Once you have studied a piece or a technique years ago have you ever revisited it?
What I find amazing as students of the piano is that we are always getting better and better and things happen with so much more ease. Our perception of the piece or technique changes.
Enjoy uncovering what you have been working on and revisit something that has been on the shelf for quite some time.
Here’s to celebrating growth and renewal of our amazing self.
Have you ever found that sometimes when you are studying a piece, it just seems soo challenging.
This is just how growth happens.
Some things are easier because you have grown and some things not so much.
I find the best way is just keep it really really simple and in small steps and you are headed in the right direction.
It’s time for me to learn something new 🙂
It’s been such a long time and now I have a mission to complete something. I must admit that there are so many amazing pieces that I sometimes loose focus. But a decision has been reached by my mentor/teacher. I love that part. Someone is guiding you on your way. We all need help and when we are open to receiving help, it always arrives.
What are my pieces? A few Chopin Etudes and a piece by Scarlatti. Yeah!!
Celebrate learning something new..this means you are growing and ready for new challenges.
Many of my students, including myself, find it a challenge to learn a new piece. As one skills grow the pieces become easier and easier, but until that happens it can be painful. Once it does happen, Wow!! It feels amazing! You feel you have wings and can tell your story so much faster.
One of the great things about taking forever in studying a piece is that it stays with you for a very very long time, even for years. Just think about anything you learn quickly. It disappears just as quickly as you studied it. Through the course of excellent repetition,slow practice and thinking the right way, music becomes alive!
A very quick story. I remember when I first really studying piano, the piece I learned was only 1 page long. Very very short. It took me 5 months to really know what I was doing. Bad instruction for so many years and it needed to be fixed. That was over 19 years ago and I still have most of the piece in my memory.
I promise you this. You will be well rewarded with your slow and patient practice!!
I would never ever recommend that you stop learning a piece! EVER!
There is something that you need to learn in each and every piece you study. Something about yourself, something about your internal growth and your skills.
That being said, when you have truly given your BEST effort, sometimes you are just not ready. Maybe not now, but down the road.
Has this happened to me. YES! My teacher and I spent months..probably 4-5 months working on the first page of a Mozart Sonata. The first page! They are huge!! At least 23 pages long..and the first page was a challenge. My teacher worked very very hard to help me, but I was not ready. So..it was Beethoven for me! Did I study Mozart..Yes!! Years later when I was ready!!
Never give up…even if you are not ready right now. That time will come! It always does if you have a burning desire and persistence!!
When one looks at someone who is working hard and someone who is not, you can always tell by how well they have been taught.
When one plays the piano, it should look like they are almost doing nothing, and yet it’s amazing what sounds they are creating.
Check out these two links to see the difference. They are both performing “The Flight of the Bumble Bee by Rimsky-Korsakov
A good performance https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0h9siME08qo
An amazing performance https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0h9siME08qo
Which way would you choose to perform?
I really loves those myths that you can master the piano in 4 weeks??? It’s madness!!
There is a very smart man, Malcolm Gladwell and I agree with him, that to master anything takes 10,000 hours.
How long is that and how much time do you need to practice?
This equates to 90 minutes a day for..brace yourself..20 years!!
If you have a desire to win a classical competition the average is 25,000 hours.
The other point to consider is, who are you studying with. There are amazing teachers and there are average teachers and then there are terrible teachers. I know..I studied for 10 years and had hours and hours and hours of practice time and my skills were terrible because my teachers were terrible. Amazing people, just terrible teachers! So..had to fix all my horrible habits!
My suggestion is choose a teacher that really knows what they are talking about. See how they play. See how they think and how they connect with you. With all the hours you spend practicing will move you forward quickly!! Or at least as quickly as possible!
I strongly urge that you celebrate often. Small steps become great leaps over time.
It was just a few weeks ago that I had a chance to take one of my favorite teachers out for a lunch.
He has and is instrumental in my career choice and how I teach today!
I wanted to pick his brain on chromatic scales. There is a lot of stuff on utube about what a chromatic scale is…and it’s not a difficult thing to play. What most people neglect is what movement you need to give you the speed and dexterity to play very very well.
The first thing he discussed was the Thumb! Yes! The thumb! What is it designed to do? It is designed to grab. Just pick up something and guess what happens..you grab it with your thumb and your 5th finger.
Well..as it turns out the Thumb is imperative in being able to give you speed and the ability to perform technical challenges with ease!
It’s one of those things we just need to do.
It reminds me of my run today. I really don’t enjoy running at all!! But I have found a solution to help me.
I found an area outside, under a bridge and it’s really quiet there. Love that!! There is a bit of a incline/decline as well and it’s not that aggressive. I found a sequence and took action. First, a bit of a walk followed by a light jog to a specific point. Then walk up to a specific point, and then RUN FAST AND HARD to a specific point. Repeat! That was it!
It’s the same with technique. I personally am not a fan of scales, arpeggios, chords and the RCM expectation’s.
I find legato, Clementi, Hanon, Czerny and Kullak depending on the opus you are focusing on, way more challenging. They challenge in a way like running HARD, with intensity. You get it over with and then apply that to any of your pieces you are studying.
Happy piano practicing, know that you are growing, and enjoy the journey!