This is my private journal entry that I made today, but I’m going to make it public because it might help someone.

“Just had what I believe to have been the worst piano lesson I’ve has so far. Or should I say best? Because I learned a lot about how i should practice. It was frustrating. I couldn’t get the simplest instructions and it was very embarrassing. The first time i played through the Beethoven it was a lot of mistakes, voicing mistakes, I just felt bad playing it. I wasn’t as good as I thought I was and it’s like all of my effort went down the drain. In the practice room it sounded good and when I played there is was all over the place. I couldn’t focus because I just felt defeated so when he asked me to play something I literally couldn’t get out of that feeling and get it together. It was stressful.

I made a mistake and he said said “shows how much you practice”

This week I put in more hours of practice than ever. That was the most frustrating thing. I practice 3-4 hours a day go to bed by 11pm because I practice at night. THere was nothing to show for my efforts… I “learned” the entire first and second movement of the Beethoven, and Liszt’s Widmung, worked on the 3rd movement of Beethoven. I was practicing a lot. I was moving fast trying to get it down in a hurry… but that was the problem

I was rushing too much.

I was practicing inefficiently. I didn’t play slow enough to get the phrasings down, to get it engrained into my fingers. It wasn’t ripe yet.

So now I learned I need to start at the basics, slow repetitive practice. Focus on the details.

Today I had a failure moment, but I’m glad I failed because that means I’m trying and that I’m growing. I want to fail some more and learn some more. That’s why I’m here. I might be the least experienced student (this is my first Beethoven sonata) but I’m fully dedicated, motivated, and willing to practice slowly and deliberately.

I now need to adjust my practice routine:

Slowly one line at a time. Repeat 10 times.

Slowly 1 page at a time, repeat 5 times.”

Today I need to take a mental break and work on myself.. do some meditating read and go for a run. I need to get my mind off of this disappointment.

Then I can start fresh tomorrow.

One thought on “Discouraged

  1. I recently found a journal entry of mine from undergrad that read remarkably similarly to this post. Tough lesson, practice didn’t yield results I wanted…advice from the other side, 5 years later with Bachelor’s in Piano Performance in hand and thriving studio: You are doing great. Do the slow, smart work. It is worth it. But forgive yourself. There will be bad lessons sometimes, and missed notes. Try to enjoy your practice insofar as it’s possible–you are learning and growing so much! All best xoxox


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