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Variations on Nostalgia Ė Boris Berman Plays Brahms and Silvestrov
In recent months, the 85-year-old Ukrainian composer Valentin Silvestrov has received the world's attention more than ever due to the ongoing war. Silvestrov's piano music covers more than half a century, and it would be hard to find a better proponent for it than the composer's longtime friend Boris Berman, whose coming album offers a panorama of the composer's evolution. Berman has also just released a new Brahms album Ė and feels an affinity between the two composers. Read more >>

Topic: Loneliness  (Read 225 times)

Offline imnotapianist

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Loneliness
on: May 18, 2023, 12:39:59 AM
As a music major at a music conservatory, sometimes I feel really lonely. I never really anticipated this going into piano in the first place, but sometimes it feels hard not being to either meet new people or foster new friendships when practicing and performing piano is such a solitary action. And although the practicing in itself is fine, I think the alone time has been difficult to deal with, and I was wondering if anyone could either relate to this or could help cope with this.

Offline lostinidlewonder

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Re: Loneliness
Reply #1 on: May 18, 2023, 07:59:02 AM
See if you can start a jam group which meets weekly or monthly somewhere on campus. Ask faculty staff if you can be provided with a space to do it I am sure they will be accommodating. I used to host one when I was at university encouraging others to meet up in practice rooms and we just played our pieces we were studying and just chatted about anything and everything as well. It was more like a chill space where we hung out more than any serious jamming sessions, it was nice!

We also organised weekly lunch time concerts in a lecutre hall which was always free on a certain day lunchtime, it ran usually under an hour were we played just for anyone who wanted to come watch. We had pianists from all sorts of places come, those studying a music major to those studying non music majors. We also had non pianists performing too so it was nice to meet all sorts of artists of different disciplines. Certain instruments really yearn to be accompanied so I'm sure if say a violinist had a pianist wanting have a regular meet up they would jump on that opportunity.

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Online lelle

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Re: Loneliness
Reply #2 on: May 18, 2023, 09:11:24 PM
As a music major at a music conservatory, sometimes I feel really lonely. I never really anticipated this going into piano in the first place, but sometimes it feels hard not being to either meet new people or foster new friendships when practicing and performing piano is such a solitary action. And although the practicing in itself is fine, I think the alone time has been difficult to deal with, and I was wondering if anyone could either relate to this or could help cope with this.

Sorry to hear you are going through this. I felt quite lonely my first 2-3 years studying at your level, and it was awful, but I eventually overcame it. Here's some things to try:
- Do as much ensemble/chamber music/duo's/anything with other people you have time for. If it's not officially mandated in the curriculum, go and look for fellow students who also want to play ensemble music. Not only will it provide you with more socialization and potential friendships, it will also massively help you develop your musicianship, which will show in your solo playing.
- Take regular breaks from practice and go for walks outside your practice room. Go to the cafeteria if you have one on campus. Ask people if you can join their table and introduce yourself. You already have something in common to help you break the ice: playing classical music. Sure, if you sit down and talk to people for an hour every now and then, you are missing out on some practice, but you are gaining social interaction and friendship, which will boost your mental health and motivation and make it easier to practice. Plus, this whole music thing is a bit pointless if we just sit alone and miserable by ourselves while pursuing it, don't you think? :=)

Offline rachmaninoff_forever

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Re: Loneliness
Reply #3 on: May 19, 2023, 12:13:59 AM
Piano is the only instrument where most peopleís primary focus is to play by yourself. 

Change your rep.  Join some chamber groups and/or play in a large ensemble
Live large, die large.  Leave a giant coffin.

Online ego0720

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Re: Loneliness
Reply #4 on: May 20, 2023, 08:56:15 PM
I was about to start a new topic. I was reading about Yuchan Lim. And itís a mix bag. I think old soul, a few centuries back, and a hermit. Talented. But Iím getting the impression that pianists attitude that to be great we have to practice long hours alone? And think in our head? Thatís a recipe for creepiness. Especially study off of composers who lived in a time before internet.

The discipline is important but being the defining feature for it.. is opposite of why Iím involved with piano. The point is to share joy and reshape thoughts. To share views (or opposing). To bring happiness. I think of Yiruma. Thatís how music was meant to be.

Eventually your life turns around and you will discover how u use your skill and share it. Donít wallow on the loneliness. Dwell on the potential. But it seems that we all have to develop the skills and have something to say. Thatís why top performers help each other. Loneliness is part of it.

If it makes you feel better most arts require a lot of self-dialogue and alone time. You arenít alone. You should continue to evolve and build on that knowledge so that you can enjoy having long conversations with another professional someday.

Because I have enjoyed multi disciplines.. I can tell you that itís not only piano. The best in the world are all lonely. We see the final result but nobody knows what a lonely journey it is to be the best. Once you are the best.. then you wish you werenít the only superstar. You want to have someone else to share the feelings with.

Personally, thatís where Buddhist philosophy comes to help me.

Online lelle

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Re: Loneliness
Reply #5 on: May 20, 2023, 09:37:44 PM
I was about to start a new topic. I was reading about Yuchan Lim. And itís a mix bag. I think old soul, a few centuries back, and a hermit. Talented. But Iím getting the impression that pianists attitude that to be great we have to practice long hours alone? And think in our head? Thatís a recipe for creepiness. Especially study off of composers who lived in a time before internet.

The discipline is important but being the defining feature for it.. is opposite of why Iím involved with piano. The point is to share joy and reshape thoughts. To share views (or opposing). To bring happiness. I think of Yiruma. Thatís how music was meant to be.

Eventually your life turns around and you will discover how u use your skill and share it. Donít wallow on the loneliness. Dwell on the potential. But it seems that we all have to develop the skills and have something to say. Thatís why top performers help each other. Loneliness is part of it.

If it makes you feel better most arts require a lot of self-dialogue and alone time. You arenít alone. You should continue to evolve and build on that knowledge so that you can enjoy having long conversations with another professional someday.

Because I have enjoyed multi disciplines.. I can tell you that itís not only piano. The best in the world are all lonely. We see the final result but nobody knows what a lonely journey it is to be the best. Once you are the best.. then you wish you werenít the only superstar. You want to have someone else to share the feelings with.

Personally, thatís where Buddhist philosophy comes to help me.

Good comment! When I got older I realized I didn't want to stress so much about getting better / catching up with more talented pianists / whatever, but rather just focus on playing music I enjoy, sharing my joy with others, and letting the journey that starts from that desire take me where it takes me. I think that makes playing the piano more enjoyable, and it frees you up to spend time on other things than practising all day ;)

Offline lostinidlewonder

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Re: Loneliness
Reply #6 on: May 28, 2023, 03:15:14 PM
Op wonders why they are lonely when they don't even bother to interact with those responding to their question. No wonder they are lonely.
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