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Lucas Debargue - A Matter of Life or Death
Pianist Lucas Debargue recently recorded the complete piano works of Gabriel Fauré on the Opus 102, a very special grand piano by Stephen Paulello. Eric Schoones from the German/Dutch magazine PIANIST had a conversation with him. Read more >>

Topic: Introducing myself  (Read 1939 times)

Offline lb023

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Introducing myself
on: July 03, 2016, 01:56:54 PM
Dear people of this forum,

My name is Laurens, I am a 23 year old law student living in the Netherlands. I have been visiting this forum quite some times, so I decided it was about time to make an account for myself.

A little history:

I come from a family where we are with three brothers. When we were little, our parents wanted us all to play an instrument, or at least try it. My oldest brother chose the guitar, my middle brother the flute, and I chose for the piano.

When I started playing the piano I was around ten years of age. I followed one lesson every week for about three or four years. I absolutely loved hearing people play piano, but I just could not get myself to practice very much, actually, I hated it. At the age of 13 or 14 I decided to quit playing the piano. Due to my lack of practice and not really enjoying the playing, I never got further than some of the Alfred level 3 or 4 books I believe.

When attending middle school, I did not touch the piano for about 5 or 6 years. When I started to study law ,I once visited a recital of a pianist, and I completely fell in love with the instrument again.  Since that very moment, now about three or four years ago, not one day has gone by without thinking,listening,or wanting to play classical music. Actually, at a certain point it got quite obsessive. I bought a lot of old vinyls and cds, visited much recitals and concertos etc etc.

One day I just decided to sit down at the piano again. I wanted to learn to play the theme of Schindlers list. However, haven't been playing for such a long time, I almost completely forgot how to read notes, so i learnt it through youtube/synthesia. Or just searching up the notes and writing them on the sheet music. It took me a long time, but eventually I managed to do it. This kind of playing went on for about three years. Since that moment I have been playing some pieces such as Chopin prelude op 28.no4, Nocturne in c sharp minor, waltz in a minor,Satie gnossienne, gymnopedie etc. Also some film music such as requiem for a dream, the theme from band of brothers, amelie  and stuff like that.

At first I was pretty amazed by myself, but now I realize I have reached a point where there is little to no progress in my playing anymore. I guess it's mainly because my basics just aren't there. My reading of sheet music is bad, I barely can play scales, do not follow a certain schedule of practicing etcetera.

However, my final exam is this tuesday, and when this exam is over I'll have an 8 week summer break. Since I don't have any plans for this break, I have decided I want to spent it mostly on improving my piano skills, because I just want to still see progress in my playing so bad. And I just love the instrument so much.

My question to the people here:
How should I approach this? Do you have certain tips for me on training, books, schedules,or anything whatsoever.

Your help would be greatly appreciated!

Thank you very much in advance,

Laurens

EDIT:
I very much know that nothing in life comes free, and since I will not spend my money on a vacation or anything else this summer, I am willing and able to invest into this. So anyone which could make up a good training schedule, provide me with tips etc etc, I have no problem paying for this kind of service at all!


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Offline keypeg

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Re: Introducing myself
Reply #1 on: July 03, 2016, 03:25:06 PM
Hey, nice to "meet" you?  :)  It's hard to give advice out of the blue.  How about starting with this: what weaknesses you would like to address, the cause of those weaknesses, and then solutions (ways of getting there) which can give you a first routine of sorts.  The answers to those questions might surprise you since cause and effect isn't always a straight line, and any research you do on-line may give loads of new insights.

Offline marijn1999

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Re: Introducing myself
Reply #2 on: July 03, 2016, 03:40:31 PM
Hi,

I live in the Netherlands as well (dus we kunnen net zo goed gewoon Nederlands praten, maar dan kan de rest ons niet volgen  ;D) I'm 16 years old and I'd be glad to help you with these issues. In private, because they are simply to long to adress in posts on a forum. Send me a PM if you want, or not.

BW,
Marijn
Composing and revising old pieces.
---------------------------------------
Visit my YouTube channel! (https://m.youtube.com/channel/UCR0LNNGEPY002W1UXWkqtSw)

Offline lb023

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Re: Introducing myself
Reply #3 on: July 03, 2016, 08:23:53 PM
Hi Marijn,

Thank you for your quick response and kind offer. Could you maybe sent me your e-mail adress and/or facebook, so we can discuss it there? Your help would be greatly appreciated!

Kind regards,

Laurens

Offline marijn1999

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Re: Introducing myself
Reply #4 on: July 03, 2016, 08:41:03 PM
Hi Marijn,

Thank you for your quick response and kind offer. Could you maybe sent me your e-mail adress and/or facebook, so we can discuss it there? Your help would be greatly appreciated!

Kind regards,

Laurens

I will send you a decent PM as soon as possible.

BW,
Marijn
Composing and revising old pieces.
---------------------------------------
Visit my YouTube channel! (https://m.youtube.com/channel/UCR0LNNGEPY002W1UXWkqtSw)

Offline neeone

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Re: Introducing myself
Reply #5 on: July 08, 2016, 03:17:31 PM
Hi Laurens,
I too am new to this community.  Welcome!  I find your story so interesting!  Do you mind if I ask you a question?   What would you say are your 3 biggest frustrations in trying to play the piano again?

Offline marijn1999

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Re: Introducing myself
Reply #6 on: July 08, 2016, 03:28:52 PM
Hi Laurens,
I too am new to this community.  Welcome!  I find your story so interesting!  Do you mind if I ask you a question?   What would you say are your 3 biggest frustrations in trying to play the piano again?

Welcome to the forum!
Composing and revising old pieces.
---------------------------------------
Visit my YouTube channel! (https://m.youtube.com/channel/UCR0LNNGEPY002W1UXWkqtSw)

Offline 109natsu

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Re: Introducing myself
Reply #7 on: July 09, 2016, 12:37:21 AM
Hi Laurens,

I am new to the forum too!

I am glad that you have started playing piano again. It is a hard thing to do. Congratulations!

I am fourteen, and I have been playing the piano for six years.

Comments on things that you have said:

"I hated it"
 Do you like piano playing now, or is it the same? Do you enjoy making music? If you don't, then there is no point in playing. If you like making music but not practicing, I have friends like that and I can totally see that. I used to practice like 30 mins a day.
"I'll have an 8 week summer break"
 Do you want to keep playing after the summer break? Or are you thinking of it like a project?
"There is little to no progress in my playing anymore"
 Practicing is not playing through the piece however many times as you can. That's the cold truth, and I learned it a couple years ago. If you don't feel that you are progressing, you shouldn't be thinking about quitting, but you should be trying to change the way you practice!

Anyway, I like practicing because I improve. You should feel the same way. Maybe get lessons again. As far as reading notes go, I am not a professional, and I don't know how the brain works, but I think it's like learning a language, it's just repetition.

Remember, "Practice does not make perfect, it makes permanent." Practice the way you want to play. Practicing the wrong way will not help you get better, but it will actually get you worse.

I am sorry that I have said some scary things about piano, but that is the cold truth. I recommend that you get a professional teacher and/or decide in private, like with Marijin. I also recommend going to concerts, or master classes, and see what music is, and how beautiful it is, over again.

Happy practicing!

*-*
Natsu Ozawa
Bloomington, IN
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