Today wasn’t as productive as it could have been and I should feel bad.
Don’t feel bad! I just read this post today, and I think it’s true — sometimes we need to re-evaluate our notion of progress and let ourselves recharge guilt-free.
Whoever wants to obtain this immediately will never achieve it; you can’t begin with the end."
— Chopin, quoted by his student Friederike Müller-Streicher
Source: The Art of French Piano Music by Roy Howat (via rachellebutler)
Janacek - Fairy Tale for cello and piano
I am totally into Janacek this summer!
The user Bernhard on Pianostreet always has insightful comments. I read this one today and the amount of truth that rings throughout it is astonishing. It is exceedingly simple too but until someone explicitly states it it seems a complete mystery.
"You can only start practising after you made two decisions:
1. Which passage are you going to practise?
2. What exactly and specifically do you want to have improved in that passage after you finish your practice session?
Repeating a passage seven times will help you with the first decision. It will define the passage size, from two notes to two pages (or even the whole piece).
Then you must choose amongst the myriad aspects of that passage the one you want to improve.
Practice is the same as improvement.
If you have not improved, you have not practised. If you sit at the piano for 8 hours and after 8 hours you are still playing badly, you cannot call those 8 hours practice. They are simply “piano activity”. The number of hours you spend practising is completely irrelevant. Only results count. So from now on, judge your practice by its results. If you are not getting the results you want, change the way you are practising. This of course assumes you had thought long and hard about what you want.
You must be really specific here. It is no good to say “ I want to play better”. You must be very specific: “I want to always hit that high C without ever missing it”. “ I want that 12 note run to be totally even both in rhythm as in tone.” “I want to memorise the first page of the piece”. You get the idea.
Then you must use your practice session to achieve your aims.
Personally I am not a great believer in slow practice. In very small dosages, I suggest slow motion practice which is a very different proposition.”
- The Piano Blog