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Is it ok to... (Read 1693 times)

Offline chopin2015

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Is it ok to...
« on: August 30, 2012, 10:18:03 PM »
Feel lazy? I have deadlines I have to meet and I try my best, but do you think it is acceptable to only work hard when you have the strength and energy and concentration or should I be forcing myself every day?
 I had 5 hours of practice today, split into 3 hours, then 2 more hours, with a couple 10 minute breaks here and there and I learnt something in every piece. But yesterday I only accomplished 2 hours tops. I usually have to have a minimum of 3. I just couldn't remember anything, and was so tired I couldn't even keep to a metronome. What is your way of dealing with tiredness and making sure you accomplish something even on short practice days? Sometimes I just have a huge problem focusing, especially in the evening, after school. In the morning, I drink coffee and can go for hours!! Thanks! I feel fantastic today but was really depressed yesterday. 
"Beethoven wrote in three flats a lot. That's because he moved twice."

Offline rachmaninoff_forever

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Re: Is it ok to...
«Reply #1 on: August 30, 2012, 10:29:48 PM »
Feel lazy? I have deadlines I have to meet and I try my best, but do you think it is acceptable to only work hard when you have the strength and energy and concentration or should I be forcing myself every day?
 I had 5 hours of practice today, split into 3 hours, then 2 more hours, with a couple 10 minute breaks here and there and I learnt something in every piece. But yesterday I only accomplished 2 hours tops. I usually have to have a minimum of 3. I just couldn't remember anything, and was so tired I couldn't even keep to a metronome. What is your way of dealing with tiredness and making sure you accomplish something even on short practice days? Sometimes I just have a huge problem focusing, especially in the evening, after school. In the morning, I drink coffee and can go for hours!! Thanks! I feel fantastic today but was really depressed yesterday. 

Motivation?

Live large, die large.  Leave a giant coffin.

Offline perprocrastinate

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Re: Is it ok to...
«Reply #2 on: August 30, 2012, 11:49:44 PM »
Haha, this summer I was all pumped up to practice like the world was going to end. Then again, most people wouldn't practice the piano if they knew the world was going to end..

But my spirit just died. Some days I didn't even want to touch the piano.

I don't know about you, but when I'm tired, I just go to sleep/take a nap. I feel that practice when refreshed is way more effective, well, not. If I don't have time to sleep, I take a shower. That always works. Okay, almost always. I intentionally avoid using my "methods" because sometimes I'm waaay too lazy to practice.

Offline chopin2015

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Re: Is it ok to...
«Reply #3 on: August 31, 2012, 01:45:09 AM »
Motivation?



Yes, but how do you get motivated on days it is harder than others? :)
"Beethoven wrote in three flats a lot. That's because he moved twice."

Offline ajspiano

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Re: Is it ok to...
«Reply #4 on: August 31, 2012, 01:52:26 AM »
Yes, but how do you get motivated on days it is harder than others? :)

I find that good food and enough sleep are pretty major factors in level of motivation.

Offline Mayla

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Re: Is it ok to...
«Reply #5 on: August 31, 2012, 01:53:00 AM »
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"The greatest thing in this world is not so much where we are, but in what direction we are moving"  ~Oliver Wendell Holmes

Offline chopin2015

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Re: Is it ok to...
«Reply #6 on: August 31, 2012, 01:57:49 AM »
That is true, Mayla. I did end up writing a new list last night after my attempt at a 3 hour normal practice. Today I had the house to myself and ordered pizza and had a really great day! (you might like this, I worked on some more of Beethoven's 3rd movement of moonlight!) as well as many other great things about my practice. Hope tomorrow is another good one!
"Beethoven wrote in three flats a lot. That's because he moved twice."

Offline Mayla

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Re: Is it ok to...
«Reply #7 on: August 31, 2012, 02:03:31 AM »
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"The greatest thing in this world is not so much where we are, but in what direction we are moving"  ~Oliver Wendell Holmes

Offline j_menz

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Re: Is it ok to...
«Reply #8 on: August 31, 2012, 02:20:57 AM »
Unfortunately, my "to do" list is suing me for neglect.  :-[
"What the world needs is more geniuses with humility. There are so few of us left" -- Oscar Levant

Offline Mayla

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Re: Is it ok to...
«Reply #9 on: August 31, 2012, 02:22:24 AM »
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"The greatest thing in this world is not so much where we are, but in what direction we are moving"  ~Oliver Wendell Holmes

Offline j_menz

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Re: Is it ok to...
«Reply #10 on: August 31, 2012, 02:24:29 AM »
I'm guessing it's rather long and unorganized  ;D.

I don't know. It's organised a lawyer and a court date.  ;)
"What the world needs is more geniuses with humility. There are so few of us left" -- Oscar Levant

Offline Mayla

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Re: Is it ok to...
«Reply #11 on: August 31, 2012, 02:31:50 AM »
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"The greatest thing in this world is not so much where we are, but in what direction we are moving"  ~Oliver Wendell Holmes

Offline ajspiano

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Re: Is it ok to...
«Reply #12 on: August 31, 2012, 02:44:41 AM »
I don't know. It's organised a lawyer and a court date.  ;)

The judge might get a bit annoyed if you pause mid case to organise your to-do list.

Offline goldentone

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Re: Is it ok to...
«Reply #13 on: August 31, 2012, 07:44:41 AM »
I find that good food and enough sleep are pretty major factors in level of motivation.

Very true.  I believe most people don't get enough sleep.  The one-size-fits-all dictum of 8 hours sleep I don't buy.  The amount of sleep that you need is the point at which you naturally wake up without an alarm clock.  And to find that you just continue to set your alarm back by 15-20 minutes or so until you wake up before it, and then you can tweak it from there.  When we get our required amount, our thinking, creativity, mood, and motivation will be at their peak.
For in that sleep of death what dreams may come

Offline goldentone

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Re: Is it ok to...
«Reply #14 on: August 31, 2012, 07:59:01 AM »
it helps me a lot just to simply have a list where I can put a check in a little box indicating I did it  :P.  

Simple but effective. :)  Though I haven't made lists for awhile, it's what I used to use, and I can imagine returning to it.  I really like lists. ;D
For in that sleep of death what dreams may come

Offline Mayla

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Re: Is it ok to...
«Reply #15 on: August 31, 2012, 12:11:12 PM »
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"The greatest thing in this world is not so much where we are, but in what direction we are moving"  ~Oliver Wendell Holmes

Offline chopin2015

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Re: Is it ok to...
«Reply #16 on: August 31, 2012, 09:14:52 PM »
My recent list was a list of "Order of Importance"
Included my audition repertoire and some stuff I need to learn, and some stuff I want to learn.
"Beethoven wrote in three flats a lot. That's because he moved twice."

Offline Mayla

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Re: Is it ok to...
«Reply #17 on: August 31, 2012, 09:52:19 PM »
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"The greatest thing in this world is not so much where we are, but in what direction we are moving"  ~Oliver Wendell Holmes

Offline ted

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Re: Is it ok to...
«Reply #18 on: September 01, 2012, 12:03:24 AM »
It will probably come as a surprise to those who know me on the forum that in my youth I used to practise all day. I even used to play a lot of classical, liked listening to Beethoven, and constantly worried about things like motivation and discipline. This despite having no prospect or desire for a career in music of any type. In retrospect, at sixty-five, I suppose I should be glad of it. It left me with a very strong physical technique - also more than a bit rough, but that doesn't matter creatively - which enabled the release of the unpredicted tsunami of improvisation which hit me in late middle age. Had I not driven myself as a young man to work whether I felt like it or not, these means of expression would have found no outlet later on.

The actual musical content doesn't matter. It could have been jazz or just exercises on my practice clavier. So very reluctantly, I concede that a certain amount of pure grind is necessary, especially with the physical aspect. The only suggestion I have for the original poster is to work more from the mind and make even exercises a sort of yoga engaging the whole brain, the whole person. Discipline then becomes more of a joy and less of an ordeal.

That's the trick I completely failed to understand fifty years ago.
"We're all bums when the wagon comes." - Waller

Offline goldentone

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Re: Is it ok to...
«Reply #19 on: September 01, 2012, 07:42:12 AM »
It will probably come as a surprise to those who know me on the forum that in my youth I used to practise all day. I even used to play a lot of classical, liked listening to Beethoven, and constantly worried about things like motivation and discipline.

I have to say it saddens me that you no longer have any desire for classical music, Ted.  How did it leave you?

So very reluctantly, I concede that a certain amount of pure grind is necessary, especially with the physical aspect.  

I used to think that in order to become a professional you had to spend hours on technical exercises, but because of the influence of friends and others on the forum, I tempered that belief.  I still believe you need to work with exercises to an extent, and as I've said, I don't know of any great who became great without them.
For in that sleep of death what dreams may come

Offline ted

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Re: Is it ok to...
«Reply #20 on: September 01, 2012, 11:30:27 AM »
I have to say it saddens me that you no longer have any desire for classical music, Ted.  How did it leave you?

I think it has a lot to do with rhythm, goldentone. I am deeply stirred by irregular and non-notatable rhythms, and by playing forms which do not occur in classical music or jazz and cannot be generated outside spontaneous improvisation. I am not iconclastic about it in the slightest, indeed today I played and worked on five Chopin studies, two Liszt studies, the Rhapsody In Blue, a couple of dozen classical rags of Joplin and James Scott and some contemporary ragtime by French and Roberts. Also, all my own written stuff from decades gone by, to a great extent emulated such music of the past.

I take as much pleasure in the act of playing these things as I always did, and I suspect I actually play them much better than I used to. However I am very rarely moved by the actual sounds of them any more. Less and less am I able to bring my strongest passions from a common spring of any genre. I guess it is a bit peculiar, but not I think sad, at least not for me. Most older people seem to decidedly stabilise into the common heritage, whatever the idiom, not just get progressively hairier until they fly off the handle like me.

I can still appreciate classical, jazz and other musical traditions in an aesthetically detached but positive way, so it isn't all doom and gloom.

"We're all bums when the wagon comes." - Waller