Piano Forum

Topic: Focus  (Read 1236 times)

Offline kaiwin

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Focus
on: March 08, 2006, 05:26:01 AM
When playing.. Is your mind like... thinking of something else? Mine does that... Any tips on keeping focus? Competition coming up... >.<
Every time I play my mind somehow thinks of something else.. messes me up.
Any suggestions?

Offline pianobabe_56

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Re: Focus
Reply #1 on: March 08, 2006, 09:03:16 PM
My piano teacher once leant me a magazine that had an incredible article in it about focusing while performing. I wish I could give you a title or an author, but I can't even remember the magazine's name! As far as I remember about the article, the author mentioned "thinking the music"--I took that to mean, constantly be thinking about phrasing the melody, and stuff like 'ooh, a big crescendo here', and 'this is my favorite part-it's so beautiful!'

The problem is that too many people think too far ahead in music: "Uh oh. Here it comes" and then butcher it and then feel bad and fall behind what their hands are doing and freak out and try not to think too hard and thereby mess up their finger memory.

Does that help at all?
<('.'<)   (>'.')>

Mind like a steel trap... Rusty and illegal in 37 states!

Offline sharon_f

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Re: Focus
Reply #2 on: March 08, 2006, 09:12:25 PM
Focus is extraordinarily important to a musician. To be in the "now" every moment. It's when we lose concentration that we make mistakes, have memory lapses, etc.

I also don't think it is a completely natural ability for most people. I believe it requires practice just like technique. Playing very, very slowly, listening to each note is one way to practice. As soon as your mind drifts off, stop, try to identify what happened and when. Did your fingers just take over? Where you listening to what you were playing?

I find, practicing with my eyes closed helps me to focus on the music.  I'm sure others might have some other suggestions. For me, "really listening" ti the music helps me maintain focus.
There are two means of refuge from the misery of life - music and cats.
Albert Schweitzer

Offline m

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Re: Focus
Reply #3 on: March 09, 2006, 03:18:04 AM
When playing.. Is your mind like... thinking of something else? Mine does that... Any tips on keeping focus?

Just think about music... or breathing.... in music.

Offline plunkyplink

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Re: Focus
Reply #4 on: March 09, 2006, 07:10:13 AM
This is a great question! I was wondering about that myself. What I like about playing piano is that it does help with being in a meditative state (here and present thinking). It involves the senses of touch, sound, and sight, and also emotion. But, I do catch my mind wondering at times. I try to be aware of when my mind wanders and get my focus back. I also try not to engage in self-defeating self talk too much, like "oh no, here comes the part I always mess up..." or "does my playing suck?" I think playing the piano is a mindful practise and that's why it's so much fun too. I find that after practising the piano for a half hour or more, my mind is more calm and peaceful.
 

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