Piano Forum

Topic: Am I spending too much time and effort?  (Read 2191 times)

Offline MattL

  • PS Silver Member
  • Jr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 51
Am I spending too much time and effort?
on: July 06, 2005, 02:45:49 AM
I have a very broad question to ask but all the same...

I am at the end of Beethoven's Sonata Op. 90's  First Movement and it has taken 3 weeks (this thursday to complete it satifsfactorily) I was just wondering is this pace rather sluggish, my teacher and I have spend two lessons on it and the third will be this
thursday, but mostly the discussion has been on my timing and improving it (I justed started taking lessons three weeks ago and have been playing for about a year), so i was just wondering does it take you guys three weeks to get through six pages of a moderately challenging Beethoven Movmt?

And no I can't sight read at all :'(

Offline TheHammer

  • PS Silver Member
  • Sr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 254
Re: Am I spending too much time and effort?
Reply #1 on: July 06, 2005, 09:05:27 AM
I am pretty sure I understand something wrong.

(I justed started taking lessons three weeks ago and have been playing for about a year)

And no I can't sight read at all :'(

That can't be true. After one year noone is up to the level of Op. 90 or even, as you said you were in the other thread, op.111 of Beethoven. So I will disregard this statement.


to the original question: Well, generally you can't spend too much. At least if you still improve. If it takes you three weeks to perfect the mov. I see no problem whatsoever. That is actually quite short if you have other piece running parallel, and at least not overwhelmingly long if you concentrate on this thing (according to your level, which I can't estimate...). It is a very subjective thing and also depends on what you have to improve. As you said, this mov. is technically quite straightforward, so from the technical side it should probably not take so long. But if we are talking about interpretational issues, I see no problem. You could spend months on these.
Also, what are your goals with piano playing? For a pro it should not take so long, I deem, but that's again, depends on how much you are working the same time...

Offline ramseytheii

  • PS Silver Member
  • Sr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 2488
Re: Am I spending too much time and effort?
Reply #2 on: July 06, 2005, 06:53:46 PM
from the pianist Vladimir de Pachmann:

"The artist will spend months on a Chopin valse.  The student feels injured if he cannot play it in a day."

Walter Ramsey

Offline dbrainiak914

  • PS Silver Member
  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 145
Re: Am I spending too much time and effort?
Reply #3 on: July 06, 2005, 06:56:15 PM
Thanks for that quote, it's really great.  Makes me feel good about my endless perfectionism.   :D
"The artist will spend months on a Chopin valse.  The student feels injured if he cannot play it in a day." - Vladimir de Pachmann

Offline BoliverAllmon

  • PS Silver Member
  • Sr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 4155
Re: Am I spending too much time and effort?
Reply #4 on: July 06, 2005, 07:00:01 PM
from the pianist Vladimir de Pachmann:

"The artist will spend months on a Chopin valse.  The student feels injured if he cannot play it in a day."

Walter Ramsey


great quote

Offline pet

  • PS Silver Member
  • Jr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 84
Re: Am I spending too much time and effort?
Reply #5 on: July 06, 2005, 11:27:54 PM
Now, why are you rushing!! ;D  It takes time to perfect a piece, and you will realize the more you take your time, the more accurate the piece will be played.  Eventually pieces won't take you long to learn anymore.  You have plenty of time...

Offline MattL

  • PS Silver Member
  • Jr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 51
Re: Am I spending too much time and effort?
Reply #6 on: July 07, 2005, 01:59:43 AM
Thank you guys I was just wondering if it was absolutely necessary to spend that much time on a piece and some of what you said makes perfect sense so thancks.

In response to what you said hammer, I did start playing last July and the fact is I am 15 not 6 so i take it as a personal insult against my abilities and inelligence to say that I have not the ability to interpret Beethoven. Its not like I just sat down and played them, I read a biography on Beethoven and also read many articles on the Op. 111 to help me understand so of the apsects. So just because you believe that what you couldn't do when you had just started was impossible, doesn't validate that completely irroneous statement.

Offline TheHammer

  • PS Silver Member
  • Sr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 254
Re: Am I spending too much time and effort?
Reply #7 on: July 07, 2005, 06:57:35 AM
Now, just to understand you correctly:
1. You have never touched a piano for the sake of learning it before last year's July?
2. You are able to play the Opus 111 of Ludwig van Beethoven in its entirety?

This has nothing to do with interpretation. Although I highly doubt that I would like an interpretation from a 15-year old, it is of course not impossible, I am always willing to enjoy a good surprise. But what is really IMPOSSIBLE, is that any teacher would let you, even if you were THE child profigy of all times, would let you learn this sonata in your first year! (Plus you said in the other thread, "I have a strong background in Bach (especially his partitas) along with Beethoven's Appassionata Op. 57, Sonata Quasi Fantasia Op. 27 no 1, and his Sonata op. 2 no. 3." From this statement I either conclude that you already play for let's say, at least 4 years, more probably 7, Or, if you insist on having only played one year and learned all this stuff, that you are the most bragging show-off there was on this forum.)

This is something completely different if you already played before last year, and say, have just started to play seriously then, or something. THEN I said nothing.

Plus, I really can't insult your abilities and intelligence, because I don't know you besides 300 words transmitted over internet. But please, for that matter, don't try to insult me, by suggesting I could believe you. We have an Audition Room to prove me wrong.



PS: Yes I believe I was not able to play the Sonata in my first year. I don't even believe I can play it (decently) now, after 11 years of piano playing. Nevertheless I know that many people have played this sonata even in their first five years, so I do not really conclude anything from my personal experience.

So please clear this up. Thanks for your time.

Offline BoliverAllmon

  • PS Silver Member
  • Sr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 4155
Re: Am I spending too much time and effort?
Reply #8 on: July 07, 2005, 03:04:41 PM
I concur with Hammer. prove us all wrong.

Offline pianote

  • PS Silver Member
  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 197
Re: Am I spending too much time and effort?
Reply #9 on: July 10, 2005, 07:09:42 AM
op. 90 so soon...& op. 111? long as you don't go off auditioning/ competing with them without playing prior sonatas...

Offline Jacey1973

  • PS Silver Member
  • Sr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 598
Re: Am I spending too much time and effort?
Reply #10 on: July 10, 2005, 10:54:37 PM
Now, just to understand you correctly:
1. You have never touched a piano for the sake of learning it before last year's July?
2. You are able to play the Opus 111 of Ludwig van Beethoven in its entirety?

This has nothing to do with interpretation. Although I highly doubt that I would like an interpretation from a 15-year old, it is of course not impossible, I am always willing to enjoy a good surprise. But what is really IMPOSSIBLE, is that any teacher would let you, even if you were THE child profigy of all times, would let you learn this sonata in your first year! (Plus you said in the other thread, "I have a strong background in Bach (especially his partitas) along with Beethoven's Appassionata Op. 57, Sonata Quasi Fantasia Op. 27 no 1, and his Sonata op. 2 no. 3." From this statement I either conclude that you already play for let's say, at least 4 years, more probably 7, Or, if you insist on having only played one year and learned all this stuff, that you are the most bragging show-off there was on this forum.)

This is something completely different if you already played before last year, and say, have just started to play seriously then, or something. THEN I said nothing.

Plus, I really can't insult your abilities and intelligence, because I don't know you besides 300 words transmitted over internet. But please, for that matter, don't try to insult me, by suggesting I could believe you. We have an Audition Room to prove me wrong.



PS: Yes I believe I was not able to play the Sonata in my first year. I don't even believe I can play it (decently) now, after 11 years of piano playing. Nevertheless I know that many people have played this sonata even in their first five years, so I do not really conclude anything from my personal experience.

So please clear this up. Thanks for your time.

He's got a point Matt...

What age did u start learning Hammer?
"Mozart makes you believe in God - it cannot be by chance that such a phenomenon arrives into this world and then passes after 36 yrs, leaving behind such an unbounded no. of unparalled masterpieces"

Offline barbosa-piano

  • PS Silver Member
  • Newbie
  • ***
  • Posts: 14
Re: Am I spending too much time and effort?
Reply #11 on: July 10, 2005, 11:26:09 PM
 No, in fact, I sight read through this Sonata today. Different people have different problems. It doesn't seem that hard technically, but the pauses and rhythms can be a little complicated. But I guess that sight reading skills are really good here, I can sight read the opus 90 easily, but when I try something as Waldstein Sonata, I can't do it that simply, there are very fast notes at an certain patern in some passages, but I can read through most of it. I would suggest you try to sight read more, it can be very good and practical. With Beethoven, I would try to sight read easier pieces, and than rise the difficulty level of the sight reading. I must say, that your pace and repertoire are incredible for someone that plays for about 1 year.

Mario Barbosa
"Time may change the technique of music, but it will not affect its fundamental mission" Rachmaninoff             (Former Barbosa-piano)

Offline Rach3

  • PS Silver Member
  • Sr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 664
Re: Am I spending too much time and effort?
Reply #12 on: July 11, 2005, 01:44:10 AM
I am at the end of Beethoven's Sonata Op. 90's  First Movement and it has taken 3 weeks (this thursday to complete it satifsfactorily) I was just wondering is this pace rather sluggish, my teacher and I have spend two lessons on it and the third will be this
thursday, but mostly the discussion has been on my timing and improving it (I justed started taking lessons three weeks ago and have been playing for about a year), so i was just wondering does it take you guys three weeks to get through six pages of a moderately challenging Beethoven Movmt

If you've just started lessons a month ago, no offence but you really have no idea of what piano-playing is. Three weeks for a sonata isn't a scratch on the surface, irregardless of your ability. Any real Beethoven sonata takes years of preparation and work, and it has very little to do with learning the notes quickly. I suggest you abandon your irrationally high expectations and start actually learning - with an open mind and tons of patience.

-Rach3
"Never look at the trombones, it only encourages them."
--Richard Wagner

Offline nolan

  • PS Silver Member
  • Jr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 81
Re: Am I spending too much time and effort?
Reply #13 on: July 11, 2005, 02:08:48 AM
The original post inspired some other questions from me:

How do you know if you are spending too long on a piece that is way above your ability? The original poster mentioned he was able to get through a piece in three weeks. The last piece I worked on for months before I was able to get through it pretty well. It has been almost a year and I still think it could be so much better. Was all that time a waste? Could I have learned more by choosing easier music?

I suspect that one reply would be to ask my teacher if I am ready for a piece. What if my teacher allowed me to focus most of my energy on that one piece and it still took forever to learn? Lesson after lesson we would spend on it...if I knew it would take so long from the start, I probably wouldn't have chosen to work on it at the time.

Has anyone else experienced these thoughts?
-Nolan

Offline TheHammer

  • PS Silver Member
  • Sr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 254
Re: Am I spending too much time and effort?
Reply #14 on: July 11, 2005, 09:30:12 AM
He's got a point Matt...

What age did u start learning Hammer?

At 8, so I am in my eleventh year now. May I ask why? If you are referring to what I said, I might add that I think I would have no difficulty in "playing" the op.111 (well except for the double trills I guess...). My refraining from learning it originates from my doubs of being able to understand it (no matter how many analysises I am reading, our books about it, or how many other Beethoven sonatas I am playing). I agree with Rach3, on a Beethoven sonata, and expecially a late one, one cannot spend too much time.
As for the op.90, I can sight-read through it as well (well, at least first movement, which I tried, second seems a bit more complicated). That does not mean however that someone would learn it in three weeks after one year piano playing, and one month of being taught. Therefore my confusion, therefore my plea to MattL to clear this up.

To nolan, look at these threads: https://pianoforum.net/smf/index.php/topic,4750.msg45125.html#msg45125
https://pianoforum.net/smf/index.php/topic,4734.msg44770.html#msg44770

I am sure there are more. In these, Bernhard explains why it is important to learn as much pieces a possible, I think he says something of 100 pieces in 5 years. This is of course only possible if you pieces you have no problem whatsoever to master technically in some weeks (because you also have to do analytical work, etc.). Well, read these threads and make a search, but you are definitely not alone. I am changing my attitude to piano (or have been changing it now for at least half a year), too. I used to spent hours of work on pieces way beyond my level. These probably helped me a bit with my technique, but if I had taken a step in between, I could hav come out with much more pieces which I had been able to play then. Nevertheless, you probably have to aim for some progress.

Offline nolan

  • PS Silver Member
  • Jr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 81
Re: Am I spending too much time and effort?
Reply #15 on: July 11, 2005, 01:50:40 PM
Very interesting and helpful reads, Hammer. Thanks!
-Nolan
 

Logo light pianostreet.com - the website for classical pianists, piano teachers, students and piano music enthusiasts.

Subscribe for unlimited access

Sign up

Follow us

Piano Street Digicert