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Problem with practicing: too lazy or what? (Read 9298 times)

Offline frederic

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Problem with practicing: too lazy or what?
« on: March 16, 2003, 07:07:53 AM »
I've been having a problem with practicing lately  :'(
It's very hard to get myself to practice.
And at the end of the day i would always say to myself "OK, tomorrow i will work extra hard and do five hours"
But you know what?
That never happens.
Its been going for months and i've been progressing very slowly.
Is it because i'm lazy or maybe its because i don't organize my time well enough?

What do you do to prepare yourself for a successful practice session?
   
"The concert is me" - Franz Liszt

Offline ScaryCarphone

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Re: Problem with practicing: too lazy or what?
«Reply #1 on: March 16, 2003, 08:31:31 AM »
Hello!

Pretty much, my full time job is practicing...there have been many times I have felt lazy, and most of the time that has been when I'm working on something very challenging.  Are you working on challenging pieces?  Even if I am saturating my brain hours on end with technique, I always set aside a time to make music.  What a concept!  I just let myself go, and I find it makes me want to work harder on learning a new piece.

When you wake up in the morning, I suggest thinking about practing: set aside a time and place, and think about it until that time.  I also allow myself 10 minute breaks to clear my mind.  I would suggest not eating a big meal before practicing - it makes you sleepy.  Find out what time of the day you are most energetic, and then choose that time to practice.  

If you are lazy because you are not serious about your practice time, then this will not work.  However, if you are serious, then these tips in combination with your personal drive will definitely increase your practice time.  Remember, it is not how long you practice, but the quality of your practice time.  I used to say, "okay, I'm practicing," then stare at the music and think about something else for 20 minutes!  

I hope this helps, good luck!


Offline willcowskitz

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Re: Problem with practicing: too lazy or what?
«Reply #2 on: March 16, 2003, 11:02:52 PM »
After reading about motivation problems I'm kind of glad that I'm not in a music school - I play for myself and for fun as a hobby. No stress, no lack of motivation, no duty... Just hours of fun daily. The longest time I've been on piano non-stop was about 4-5h. Usually I sit there playing for 1 to 3 hours.

If you have to force yourself to practice, the whole setup is all wrong. Try to turn the duty into a will to do something. Don't think about having to play piano, but about the act itself. I used to take lessons when I was a kid and I got bored because I had to learn certain kinds of pieces and they were always boring... Really I can't relate to your situation, I'd suggest the teacher a piece and we either play it or I don't enjoy the lessons.

Remember no matter what the pieces you practice are, you'll keep developing and that can't do no harm to your later studies with music you REALLY like to play.  Set yourself short-term goals like mastering just a couple bars perfectly, then move on to more and more demanding goals. Getting the satisfaction from learning is the key to motivation. ::)

Offline amp

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Re: Problem with practicing: too lazy or what?
«Reply #3 on: March 25, 2003, 03:40:51 AM »
I know the feeling! My suggestion is to make smaller goals. Five hours is too much. Plan on ONLY a half hour. That's tolerable, and better than no practice for the day. And even better, at the end of the half hour I bet you will be ready and willing to practice much more.

Also, are you free from distractions when you practice? Do you have a timer? Ex. 10 mins for this set of measures. Work to accomplish little chunks of the music.

I like what  ScaryCarphone has to say. Play for fun. That may boast your modivation to learn new pieces.

Hope this helps--
amp
amp


Offline rachfan

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Re: Problem with practicing: too lazy or what?
«Reply #4 on: March 25, 2003, 05:10:34 AM »
Frederic, here's another idea for you.  And remember, the quality of your practice time is more important than the duration.  First, have specific goals for the practice session before you even sit down on the bench.  For example, you intend to start with major/minor scales in the circle of fifths as warm-up.  Following that, you will study two pieces, but in a methodical way.  The two pieces, incidentally, should be from different periods, styles, and moods to challenge your technique and musicianship in different ways.  

Your plan might be, in each case, to first concentrate on articulating the notes, then shaping the phrasing, then paying far more attention to dynamics and nuances, then adding pedal.  As you do all that, rough spots will crop up (they always do), meaning you need to give them special and intensive practice.  And toward the end of the session, you put the lid up and try to perform these pieces that you have been practicing, taking note of any persistent problem passages.  Those will become prominent in tomorrow's practice session as you analyze them more closely for fingering, choreography of the hands, chord voicing, voice leading, etc.  You might have even planned to record yourself on tape to better critique your efforts.

Of course, your typical practice approach might well be very different from this.  But the key point is to have a plan of approach.  That will motivate you, keep you engaged as you work through your plan, and will give you pleasure as you start to achieve your goals for bringing those pieces up to snuff.  I hope this helps.  
Interpreting music means exploring the promise of the potential of possibilities.

Offline dinosaurtales

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Re: Problem with practicing: too lazy or what?
«Reply #5 on: March 25, 2003, 06:47:22 AM »
RachFan is right.  Have a plan.  No matter how small.  in fact, to get yourself pumped up, make the first *plan* REALLY small, and make darned sure you complete it.  That'll get you to realize some kind of progress at each practice.

There are definite phases to learning a piece, and some phases are more fun to practice than others for me.  The one that gets me bummed out is the *slow over and over again* phase, where, after doing lots of it, I still don't know if it's *down.*  Then I get bummed, 'cause I get sick of playing everything slow all the time.  But that's just the hell of it!

Mindy   :P
So much music, so little time........

Offline Celeste

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Re: Problem with practicing: too lazy or what?
«Reply #6 on: April 12, 2003, 07:46:00 PM »
Find a piece you really, and I mean REALLY like to play. Practice all your other pieces first, and then play this one. It will give you something to look foward too at the end of your practice.

Offline BoliverAllmon

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Re: Problem with practicing: too lazy or what?
«Reply #7 on: July 12, 2003, 05:40:26 AM »
Don't think about a certain period of time. Think about playing the piece or section a certain number of times. For example I am currently working on a Haydn Sonata and my teacher says that I am not allowed to call it quits until I play the piece a total of 3 times both hands. Sometimes to break up the monotony, I will play another piece when I finish playing the Haydn, before repeating the piece. Set goals like this. For me at least it is easier to practice with goals like this instead of working for a certain period of time.

boliverAllmon

Offline Johnnylightning

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Re: Problem with practicing: too lazy or what?
«Reply #8 on: July 16, 2003, 05:43:15 AM »
Frederic, I guess this applies to all of us.  And if you're as lazy as I am, you may also be experiencing distractions.  I noticed that I was spending most of my time with a phone held to my ear and a remote glued to my hand.  So, I sold my TV set on eBay, canceled satellite and disconnected the house line.  Well, I'm still lazy.
OPEN YOUR MIND!...but not too much, your brain might fall out.

Offline dinosaurtales

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Re: Problem with practicing: too lazy or what?
«Reply #9 on: July 16, 2003, 07:53:49 AM »
I was thinking about duct-taping you to the bench, but that would cause other logistical problems, wouldn't it?

Hm.
So much music, so little time........

Offline Johnnylightning

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Re: Problem with practicing: too lazy or what?
«Reply #10 on: July 17, 2003, 01:24:24 AM »
Not to mention, a really nasty sore!
OPEN YOUR MIND!...but not too much, your brain might fall out.