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Topic: Please tell me I'm not the crazy one here  (Read 1749 times)

Offline stravinskylover

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Please tell me I'm not the crazy one here
on: November 16, 2013, 04:10:02 AM
Okay, I need reassurance that I'm not the one is out of line, as well as some advice.

I practice for about 5 hours a day, and I have a competition coming up in a few months. I have to play Beethoven Concerto 1, and I have all of the notes down. I have had 0 lessons on it, so my mom thinks that I should practice nothing but the concerto everyday until the competition. I can't even touch any of the new repertoire I started. I told her that it would be detrimental to my learning to not practice anything but one piece, and that I need more repertoire to maintain focus for hours at a time (I have a short attention span). She said that if I did anything else, she would stop paying for lessons, and I don't have any way of making money for lessons myself (I'm still in high school).

Am I really supposed to only do one piece (BTW, it is only the first movement) for a few months until the competition. I don't see a way out of this.

Offline indianajo

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Re: Please tell me I'm not the crazy one here
Reply #1 on: November 16, 2013, 04:47:10 PM
i never practiced more than 90 minutes per day when I was a student.  I was the best of the pianists of my teacher, and sounded comparatively good at the Houston APG contests too, IMHO.  
I gave up piano age 16, but did make TMEA All-State-Band on bassoon age 17 and got a ton of mail  from music schools inviting me to try out for their programs and scholarships.
While doing this I maintained an A average and came in second in grade average among the 670 students in my class in high school.  Music isn't the only skill in life you need. I had a lot of homework; piano was a sort of recreation for me.
Have your teacher talk to your Mother if she agrees with me.  If she doesn't think about paying for your own teacher.  
I paid for my own band instrument lessons, the supplies, uniform items etc.  I mowed 3-4 lawns a week age 11 to  16, then worked 12 hour days in the summers in a factory age 16-17, but only four hours per week when school was in session.  Work is good training also, but don't be seduced by the opportunities in fast food to give up your education. I had to get a bank account age 13 to pay for the bassoon private lessons, the school wouldn't take cash.  I was able to save enough to pay most of my first two years of college tuition, however.  The rest was covered by a scholarship I qualified for by placing in a science contest at state level.  I'd say learning only one thing, limits one too much.  Now I am age 63 and not working, is the time to concentrate on piano.  

Offline stravinskylover

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Re: Please tell me I'm not the crazy one here
Reply #2 on: November 16, 2013, 05:25:39 PM
Music is the most important part of my life. I seriously couldn't think of giving it up. I want to be a concert pianist when I grow up. I really feel like it is possible after winning a few international competitions. The problem is that my mom thinks that winning is more important than expanding my repertoire.

EDIT: My parents and I have come to and agreement. I can learn new pieces for 2 hours a day, and I practice for the competition for 3 hours a day. I am okay with this, so there is no longer a problem.

Offline slane

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Re: Please tell me I'm not the crazy one here
Reply #3 on: November 17, 2013, 02:05:52 AM
Well thank goodness!
There was an interesting article in Limelight magazine (an australian classic music mag) that goes into the pitfalls of becoming one of the competition crowd. Basically the author said that just concentrating on competition repertoire makes the performers understanding of repertoire and their musicality (always playing to what the judges value) very limited.

Offline chopin2015

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Re: Please tell me I'm not the crazy one here
Reply #4 on: November 17, 2013, 02:42:10 AM
Don't practice the new rep, unless you actually have time. Trust me, you won't lose anything...In fact, if you have free time, practice technique.
"Beethoven wrote in three flats a lot. That's because he moved twice."

Offline kalirren

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Re: Please tell me I'm not the crazy one here
Reply #5 on: November 18, 2013, 05:37:20 AM
Honestly?  I would bet that your mother is not a musician.  You, on the other hand, are.  She is not a musician, yet she feels obligated to manage you, because that is what a good parent does.  (or so I believe she thinks.  I am not going to open the debate about whether this is "right" or not.  The answer is wholly situation-dependent.)

I think that she's just trying to compensate for your not having the teacher's review.  Her line of thought probably proceeds, "oh, because your teacher has not reviewed this, you don't have your teacher's approval, therefore you must therefore practice more just to compensate".  It's a very narrow framing, and you're absolutely right that not practicing anything but the concerto for several months would represent lost opportunity for pianistic growth.  It would undoubtedly harm your future career.

In addition, there is such a thing as over-practicing.  If your brain becomes more used to having heard the piece recently while playing it, it will become worse at playing it "in the cold," for performance.

I think a more important question is, why has your teacher not given any feedback on the state of the Beethoven?  Why have you had 0 lessons on it?  have you not asked them to?  If so, this is your fault, and hers as well, for not pursuing this avenue of management first.  My teacher made it quite explicit that he wished to be informed of any performances, competitions, or auditions his students would be playing, so that he could contribute fully to the preparation.
Beethoven: An die Ferne Geliebte
Franck: Sonata in A Major
Vieuxtemps: Sonata in Bb Major for Viola
Prokofiev: Sonata for Flute in D Major

Offline stravinskylover

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Re: Please tell me I'm not the crazy one here
Reply #6 on: November 18, 2013, 04:00:06 PM
Honestly?  I would bet that your mother is not a musician.  You, on the other hand, are.  She is not a musician, yet she feels obligated to manage you, because that is what a good parent does.  (or so I believe she thinks.  I am not going to open the debate about whether this is "right" or not.  The answer is wholly situation-dependent.)

I think that she's just trying to compensate for your not having the teacher's review.  Her line of thought probably proceeds, "oh, because your teacher has not reviewed this, you don't have your teacher's approval, therefore you must therefore practice more just to compensate".  It's a very narrow framing, and you're absolutely right that not practicing anything but the concerto for several months would represent lost opportunity for pianistic growth.  It would undoubtedly harm your future career.

In addition, there is such a thing as over-practicing.  If your brain becomes more used to having heard the piece recently while playing it, it will become worse at playing it "in the cold," for performance.

I think a more important question is, why has your teacher not given any feedback on the state of the Beethoven?  Why have you had 0 lessons on it?  have you not asked them to?  If so, this is your fault, and hers as well, for not pursuing this avenue of management first.  My teacher made it quite explicit that he wished to be informed of any performances, competitions, or auditions his students would be playing, so that he could contribute fully to the preparation.

It is not because I haven't asked for a lesson, but because we just decided to do the competition. He already knew about the competition, and he is the one who reccomended it. I had my lesson yesterday, and he thinks that I will be ready for the competition. By the way, I have 3 hour lessons, so I think I will definitely  have enough feedback by the time of the competition. I probably should have made this clear from the beginning. Sorry  :-[
 

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