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Sometimes I feel like giving up piano once and for all


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#1 Raspberry

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Posted 30 January 2018 - 09:56

I am an adult piano leaner.

 

Just passed my Grade 2 and moving on to Grade 4. I am working full time and often find myself having no motivation to practise my piano once I reached home. And even more so after a gym session.

 

I am learning under a teacher at the moment. I find  myself giving excuses for not attending her lessons. She is  a nice teacher though. And I have been skipping lessons since New Year with the piano school having its own school holidays so which means I have not had any lessons for the past 2 months. 

 

Today I am forcing myself to attend the lesson. What is wrong with me ?  Weird thing is I do not hate piano or lost interest in it. It is just that I have no motivation or I am just plain lazy. 

 

What should I do ? Give up ? 

 

 

Disclaimer : I enjoy taking exams and not into playing for leisure cos I prefer serious goals.


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#2 miafaz

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Posted 30 January 2018 - 10:08

I'm in a similar position. Except I allowed myself to get so busy with work, life and two kids that it's been about 18 months and I've just started to focus on it a again. Admittedly I do have an 18 month child so that's probably a lot to do with it. I found I just needed to motivate myself with listening to great pianists. Taking to people who inspired me etc and generally feeding my interest until I was ready to focus again. I also kept a diary of what I was doing well and struggling with at the end of each practice. That really motivated me. Not sure if that helps at all, but hope you don't give up!
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#3 EllieD

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Posted 30 January 2018 - 10:10

I guess it depends on your priorities. I too find sessions at the gym tiring, but it's still good to keep yourself fit of course, just getting the balance right. I enjoy running, but my piano playing is my priority now, so I only do short (but frequent) runs so as not to deplete my energy reserves.

 

If you do a lot at the gym, would you reduce that in favour of the piano?

 

I think the jump from Grade 2 to 4 is huge - are you going to work through the Grade 3 pieces anyway even if you're not doing the exam? Having a target that's too far away can be very demotivating too.

 

This is just my IMO, but setting yourself exams as your goal, rather than the goal of enjoying the piano, seems like a lot of pressure for little reward. Just enjoy what you do, that's my philosophy! Exams are a bonus, a benchmark, but why make them the important thing? Enjoying playing, that's the important thing. As I said, IMO.


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#4 adultpianist

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Posted 30 January 2018 - 10:18

I work full time in a busy job but make time after work to practice. If i get home at 7pm i practice from 9pm until 10pm.
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#5 Saxwarbler

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Posted 30 January 2018 - 11:14

I sort of know the feeling. I've been on an enforced lesson break since November because my teacher had some big changes in her school contracts and has had to give up pretty much all her private work. I decided not to search for another teacher until January and have realised how much I really do need a teacher to keep pushing me along. Luckily I've found a new bloke and will have my first lesson with him next week. I haven't been practicing nearly enough and having just picked up again I'm making a lot of mistakes. Pieces that I was beginning to play reasonably fluently are now back to 'never seen it before' status. I think, if I didn't know I had a new teacher lined up, that I'd be in danger of letting it go completely to pot. However, I'm getting back into the swing of things, putting in ten minutes of scales here, twenty minutes on a single piece there etc. and it all adds up - and I can still find time for singing, dancing and walking.

Because I was gearing up for grade 3 when my last teacher left, I'm wondering whether to skip it (but still take some time to 'perfect' some of the pieces), take a few more months and then move straight on to grade 4. Something I think I need to discuss with my new teacher. We'll hopefully get a couple of months working with each other before I have to make that decision.

Raspberry, I'm wondering whether a change of focus might do you good - either a new teacher/group or a change of genre. Whatever I'm playing or singing, if I get really cheesed off, then I try something new for a short time.


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#6 sbhoa

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Posted 30 January 2018 - 11:51

If your teacher charges for cancellations you could be paying a lot of money for nothing. That would be enough to either keep me going to lessons or make the decision to stop for now.

Sometime we have to make these difficult choices. 

As Ellie D observed maybe making exams less of a focus for now at least would help you to feel more comfortable with your lessons?


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#7 Solari

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Posted 30 January 2018 - 14:25

I occasionally feel the same kind of demotivation what with having so many things (work, other hobbies, friends and social life) competing for my time. You're not alone. :)

 

I just have to plough on and my teacher seems to understand that some weeks I just won't have done much practice at all. It doesn't mean I can't learn new techniques and so forth in lessons.

 

What's annoying is sometimes I'll look at the piano with dread but if I manage to get myself sat down and started, I can happily play/practice for hours. It's the inertia that's the problem in my case.


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#8 mel2

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Posted 30 January 2018 - 17:13

I'd give up if I were you. Your teacher would probably be relieved if you did, because there's nothing more dispiriting than a pupil who won't practise, or who prioritises everything else above piano.
It doesn't have to be for ever.
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#9 corenfa

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Posted 30 January 2018 - 21:20

This isn't a recommendation either to stop or continue, but just wanted to say, stopping lessons doesn't mean "giving up". You can always resume later. You would have "given up" if you gave away all your music, sold your instrument, and swore never to play again. Sometimes life happens and we simply have to have other priorities first. 

 

(And actually, even if you did, it doesn't make you a lesser human being. It may just be what happens to be right for you)


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#10 jpiano

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Posted 30 January 2018 - 22:36

I'd recommend a chat with your teacher if possible, if you feel comfortable with them and in talking to them. If you don't- well, that could be a factor in itself. Also, I wondered what the reasons were behind the move from grade 2 to 4. It is quite a large jump in level on piano- unless of course you sat grade 2  but were actually well in advance of the level. Missing a grade is fine, but missing out vital stages of learning isn't. Goals can be really helpful for some students but in reality the people who do best I find, both in terms of exams and in progressing in their playing, are those who are motivated by an enjoyment of playing a wide range of music for its own sake. It's worth thinking about what music you enjoy listening to, or would really love to play. Perhaps you could explore music in different styles/composers you haven't played before?

 

If lessons aren't right for your life at the moment then there's no shame in stopping those for a while. Life happens and gets in the way sometimes - on the other hand I think it's worth thinking about why you're feeling demotivated.

 

 


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#11 adultpianist

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Posted 31 January 2018 - 00:05

I'd recommend a chat with your teacher if possible, if you feel comfortable with them and in talking to them. If you don't- well, that could be a factor in itself. Also, I wondered what the reasons were behind the move from grade 2 to 4. It is quite a large jump in level on piano- unless of course you sat grade 2  but were actually well in advance of the level. Missing a grade is fine, but missing out vital stages of learning isn't. Goals can be really helpful for some students but in reality the people who do best I find, both in terms of exams and in progressing in their playing, are those who are motivated by an enjoyment of playing a wide range of music for its own sake. It's worth thinking about what music you enjoy listening to, or would really love to play. Perhaps you could explore music in different styles/composers you haven't played before?

 

If lessons aren't right for your life at the moment then there's no shame in stopping those for a while. Life happens and gets in the way sometimes - on the other hand I think it's worth thinking about why you're feeling demotivated.

 

I know one or two people who had piano lessons and have completely given up.   Pity but up to them


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#12 Mochtegernvrtuoso

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Posted 31 January 2018 - 03:30

I would suggest - and I do this myself - to suggest yourself a target of practicing no more than 25 min per day, even when your are tired, no motivation or whatever, just 25 minutes....

The evidence suggest that this technique (to overcome procrastination, lack of motivation) will work and more often that not once started you may end up practicing for much longer (something switches in the brain from the expectation  of 'pain'  to enjoyment), just get started..

It's nothing new, writers hundreds of years ago suggested this but there is now a neurobiological explanation for this effect.

 

Also, just a few minutes of focussed practice will be productive in the long term, doesn't;t have to be hours *the book 'The Practice of Practice' explains this quite convincingly).

 

Anyway, it works for me...just 25 minutes, no more...


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#13 miafaz

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Posted 31 January 2018 - 11:31

I would suggest - and I do this myself - to suggest yourself a target of practicing no more than 25 min per day, even when your are tired, no motivation or whatever, just 25 minutes....
The evidence suggest that this technique (to overcome procrastination, lack of motivation) will work and more often that not once started you may end up practicing for much longer (something switches in the brain from the expectation  of 'pain'  to enjoyment), just get started..
It's nothing new, writers hundreds of years ago suggested this but there is now a neurobiological explanation for this effect.
 
Also, just a few minutes of focussed practice will be productive in the long term, doesn't;t have to be hours *the book 'The Practice of Practice' explains this quite convincingly).
 
Anyway, it works for me...just 25 minutes, no more...

I'm going to try this.
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#14 adultpianist

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Posted 31 January 2018 - 12:27

I practice an hour a day
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#15 Flutery

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Posted 31 January 2018 - 13:57

If I ever feel like not practising I tell myself that it will make me have to work harder tomorrow if I don't do it. That always works and I find it also means I put more time and effort into making it meaningful. It's frightening how quickly the skill goes. I know it won't disappear overnight, but telling myself it might is enough to keep motivated.
Good luck Raspberry.
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