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Why do you want to play your instrument?


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#1 Steven Carr

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Posted 08 December 2018 - 22:50

I thought I always wanted to play the piano.

 

And I do. But I have recently realised that 'wanting to play the piano' is not a good way of putting it.

 

I would learn to play a piece of music, perhaps not very well, but that's irrelevant to the fact that I would usually feel a bit let down after learning that piece of music,

 

I was puzzled why I was disappointed. After all, I was playing the piano, which is what I wanted to do.

 

So I thought and thought and realised that what I really wanted was to be able to sing songs while accompanying myself on the piano. Just hacking out some chords in a reasonable manner while murdering the song with my voice.

 

 

A goal of 'wanting to play the piano' just isn't a specific enough goal to have.

 

Suddenly practice sessions are a lot more fun, because I can see that what I am practising will lead to skills that I really do want to do and I feel as if I am playing music.

 

The short version of this is - think really hard about what you want out of learning your instrument. 

 

And then you will see what what you are practising is helping achieve that. 

 

 


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#2 tulip21

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Posted 08 December 2018 - 22:54

This is a very interesting topic to discuss. For me, honestly, it's about having fun and enjoying myself. I enjoy both solo and ensemble playing. I love to learn and polish pieces, improvise, and make up my own pieces.
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#3 Sylvette

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Posted 09 December 2018 - 09:52

I have a similar motivation to the OP.  I want to sing but do not have a backing band and I do not want to use recorded backing tracks, so I have started to learn guitar and piano.  I do think that to sing and play an instrument, you have to be able to put one of them on autopilot while your brain concentrates on the other.  I suppose it is a bit like learning to drive.  When you start there are too many things to think about, but after a while you do most of them automatically and can have a conversation or listen to the radio while still changing gear, indicating, watching out for that cyclist and wondering which lane you need to be in for the next junction!


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#4 sbhoa

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Posted 11 December 2018 - 19:26

For me wanting to play the piano was enough. It did develop after many years into wanting to play well enough to be useful.

With the clarinet which sneaked up on me when I wasn't paying attention I want to keep on improving as much as I'm able and to be able to play all the notes in the more difficult orchestra music we play.


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#5 violinlove

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Posted 11 December 2018 - 20:26

I started horn 6 years ago because I loved the sound of it and wanted to play in the village band.
It has turned into a full on obsession.

I love everything about it. I love that it is a big challenge.

I don't play in the village band, though I did for a while (long story - think I mentioned it on a thread here 4 or 5 years ago) but I play in a concert band and have just achieved my ambition of playing in a symphony orchestra - first concert is in February - I've swapped from violin in that orchestra.

I also play in a chamber orchestra now and have also performed a concerto with them.

 

So, what I initially wanted is only a fraction of what I have managed to do so far.

I want to play it because I adore the instrument!


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#6 Gran'piano

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Posted 23 January 2019 - 14:19

Why am I learning this instrument?  There's nowt so queer as folk - I desperately missed the harmonies of the hymn tunes we sang in church and at school in my youth in England. A couple of years ago, I asked our organist here to play a few of them for me on the magnificent organ in the local church,  which he did. Paradise on earth. But I could hardly ask him to play for me every week, so after discovering that digital pianos have improved in the past few years and that with headphones no-one would hear me, I thought I might learn to play them myself.

P.S. I have since found out that what I really miss are 4-3 suspensions!

Another Brit who lives here feels exactly the same and told me that he sneaks them into his playing even when they are not in the score!


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#7 corenfa

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Posted 24 January 2019 - 04:00

I like accompanying much better than solo piano playing. However I need to get good enough that I can play the "hard" accompaniments- I'd like to be able to play Brahms. So I'd like to take my piano diploma as that will get my level of playing up enough to handle Brahms.
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#8 hennylemon

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Posted 24 January 2019 - 12:13

This is an excellent question but quite difficult to answer, I think. Singing, which I've been learning longer than the piano, for me is something that I just feel naturally drawn to. I find it hard to explain. To me, opera singers are superheros who are able to use their bodies to project without (electronic) amplification over an orchestra. It's just so fascinating and beautiful to me that I can't help but try to understand at least the tip of the iceberg. I wanted to learn the piano originally to help me with sight-reading and music theory but I've grown to enjoy it for its own sake as a side product. I found taking up  an instrument very intimidating first.


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#9 adultpianist

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Posted 24 January 2019 - 19:50

I like the sound of the piano so I like to play it.   I like the sound of the flute so I like to play that too.  For me it was not just a question of listening to others play these instruments.  I wanted to learn how to play myself so I can get more pleasure out of listening to others


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#10 musicalmalc

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Posted 27 January 2019 - 19:28

I like accompanying much better than solo piano playing. However I need to get good enough that I can play the "hard" accompaniments- I'd like to be able to play Brahms. So I'd like to take my piano diploma as that will get my level of playing up enough to handle Brahms.

Another accompanist here. I think I initially wanted to play because we inherited my gran's dodgy (easily forgotten maker) upright, there was some music lying around as well and mum had learnt a little so set me off learning even though she got lost with hands together and I didn't lol
Accompanying soon came around but I couldn't explain why at the time. Junior school choir I wanted to see if I could play the music so nipped in early for rehearsal as the music was left on the piano I was happy to find I could sight-read most of it although was never asked to accompany the choir. Carried on into high school and soon got known among band instrumentalists who wanted to work on their exam pieces at lunch-time - more good sight-reading practice for me. I got roped into performing at a Rotary music competition at my school and used a current exam piece but made a right horlicks of it due to nerves. I had also been accompanying a "for fun" men's choir at church with a lot of songs from musicals and never really got nerves. I think that was the decider - accompanying was fun and I didn't get nervous because I never thought that audience attention was directed at me. Soon after transferred to organ covering standard BCP services with Anglican chant as well as hymns and the occasional anthem and again no real nerves.

 

Decades later everything needs work but it's a struggle finding the time. I would still like to take G8 but the legions of scales and exercises seem prohibitive. My current priority is to get a far better degree of proficiency than I currently posses at playing from open score since I seem to require that for the first half of a term's choir rehearsals before switching to the accompaniment or hellish orchestral reduction!


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#11 corenfa

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Posted 28 January 2019 - 04:45

 

 

... I had also been accompanying a "for fun" men's choir at church with a lot of songs from musicals and never really got nerves. I think that was the decider - accompanying was fun and I didn't get nervous because I never thought that audience attention was directed at me. Soon after transferred to organ covering standard BCP services with Anglican chant as well as hymns and the occasional anthem and again no real nerves.

 

That's exactly it for me. I don't get nervous because the attention is not on me. 


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