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“Mommy, my fingers won’t obey me!”

Sunday, October 06, 2013

That was the complaint of my 6 year old daughter when practicing piano 35 years ago.

She was a very conscientious child and always wanted to keep up with her sister who was 3 years older. The problem was that each time she came to the same few measures, she stumbled over them. This frustrated her immensely.

I had the same feeling this past week. Whenever I come to a particular hill, my legs won’t obey me. They will not run up that hill. I walk it instead.

Back in 1978 I reminded my daughter of her piano teacher’s solution. Each practice session concentrate just on the difficult measures. Play them over and over, 8 times, as slowly as necessary to keep the correct rhythm. Then play the entire piece.

So that’s my plan too. One day each week I will run that hill over and over, even if in the beginning it’s VERY slowly.

If I can stick to the plan, maybe I’ll have the same success as my daughter.

For the record, she never gave up. Both she and her sister played piano competitively through college while having enough time for class and many other activities (like marathons).

Practice (train) intelligently and concentrate on the hard stuff. That’s my plan for the week. We’ll see how it goes.
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