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Resuming playing the piano after a long break

Pieces from List C (Grade 8 Piano 2019 - 2020

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#1 Juan Carlos

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Posted 24 June 2019 - 14:32

After a long break from the piano – 2½ years with the occasional practice session(s) for one or a few days – I have been practising regularly for about 2 weeks now. I understand mine is a truly psychological problem. It so happens that when negative thoughts of discouragement and frustration creep in, I tend to think the piano is not for me and from there I go on to stop playing altogether.

I’m at about 7ish – 8ish level and am resuming Bach’s Prelude in D minor and studying Prelude XX (Well-tempered Klavier) plus a Rondo by Mozart, an alternative piece in the Grade 8 2019-2020 piano syllabus. Resuming the pieces I was studying, scales and arpeggios wasn’t that hard as I have good memory – that is certainly not my weak point – and the 10 years I studied with great discipline now stand me in good stead.

I was wondering if anybody can suggest an ‘easy’ piece (I mean one that does not make you crazy!) from List C in the 2019-2020 piano syllabus (Grade 8) that I can consider tackling. That is the list whose pieces I always take time to fall in love with and I am in need of advice.

 


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#2 Dr. Rogers

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Posted 24 June 2019 - 15:09

Greetings.  I really hope you stick with it this time.  I fully understand those feelings of discouragement and frustration - try not to let them get to you.  When they attack me, I think about the reasons why I'm playing piano in the first place.

 

Regarding the List C pieces, if I were in your shoes, I would go straight to Chopin's Nocturne in G minor, Op. 37 No. 1. 

 

Debussy's Voiles would probably be my second choice, with the Rach Elegie and Brahms Intermezzo tied for third.  I might also look into the the Gershwin.

 

You can probably tell that I'm not too jazzed about modern composers.  Therefore, I would probably find those selections more difficult than, say, Chopin and Debussy.  If you prefer more modern material, you might find some of those other selections more approachable.


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#3 fsharpminor

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Posted 24 June 2019 - 15:15

I know a good few of that list.  The most approachable by some way is the Chopin G Minor Nocturne (make sure you get the right one, there are two in G Minor -the other one is not too difficult either), I hardly think its Grade 8 level.  The other suggestion would be the Poulenc Improvisation, though there's plenty of accidentals !  


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#4 Juan Carlos

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Posted 25 June 2019 - 06:20

Many thanks! I did think about the Nocturne but, to be honest, it does not appeal much to me. Instead, I find the Brahms Intermezzo extremely melodious and deep in content. I had a go at it about one year ago and found the memorizing very hard, despite my good memory. However, since I remember much of the first part and because I find it so nice I may try again ... - 


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#5 corenfa

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Posted 25 June 2019 - 22:07

I don't have any recommendations for pieces but wanted to add a note about discouragement and negativity- it's on the days that it's going badly (piano wise), that I need to practise the most. What keeps me going through it is knowing that I am building up "credit", if you will, that will pay off later. It always has paid off, even if it took months or years.

Here's wishing you all the best returning to piano.
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#6 Juan Carlos

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Posted 27 June 2019 - 03:31

Thanks, Corenfa. I just did not seem to find the motivation necessary when facing speed issues - by far my greatest weakness - and/or bits of pieces which never seem to come along nicely and so on. At one point I started feeling a slave to the piano, and it was then that I said to myself I wouldn't play anymore. And that lasted no less than 2 years with the occasional practice session(s) on one or two days or over a few days. ,


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#7 Clarimoo

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Posted 27 June 2019 - 08:05

I am also returning to piano after a long break  although nowhere near such a high level. I did grade 5 a few years ago and then, due to family circumstances, I stopped. I have tried several times to get going again but each time it sort of peters out.  I start lots of pieces that I played before but I seem to flit between them without re-mastering them. Some days I dont have time for any practice and so my attempts fail. 

This time I have made a "plan" for re introduction of my scales....just one more each day.  Yesterday I was up to C,D and G Majors....(three days), today I will add A minor. I am going to stick to three pieces for a week and then change one piece per week.

I think returning after a break is very, very hard and very frustrating ( I cant even play what I consider to be very easy music and I seem to be surrounded by people who have learnt quite complex things "from Youtube"). But I am determined to go on doing it until I can start to "play the piano" again instead of "looking at the piano and being unable to play it".

 

So good luck Juan Carlos, you  keep going and I will keep following.


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#8 SparkysMagicPiano

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Posted 27 June 2019 - 09:55

I am also returning to piano after a long break  although nowhere near such a high level. I did grade 5 a few years ago and then, due to family circumstances, I stopped. I have tried several times to get going again but each time it sort of peters out.  I start lots of pieces that I played before but I seem to flit between them without re-mastering them. Some days I dont have time for any practice and so my attempts fail. 

This time I have made a "plan" for re introduction of my scales....just one more each day.  Yesterday I was up to C,D and G Majors....(three days), today I will add A minor. I am going to stick to three pieces for a week and then change one piece per week.

I think returning after a break is very, very hard and very frustrating ( I cant even play what I consider to be very easy music and I seem to be surrounded by people who have learnt quite complex things "from Youtube"). But I am determined to go on doing it until I can start to "play the piano" again instead of "looking at the piano and being unable to play it".

 

So good luck Juan Carlos, you  keep going and I will keep following.

 

I'm another returner to piano but after a 35-year break - so I'm afraid I did smile, Juan Carlos, when you said you'd had a long break of two years! It's been a wonderful thing to do and I've loved practising regularly again for the last 6 years or so.

Do you have a teacher and regular lessons Clarimoo? I don't think I'd have half the focus and determination to keep working at things and progressing if I didn't have a lesson once a week. I'd say that 95% of the progress is made at home when I practice, but what makes me do the practice is the 30 minutes of lesson once a week. 


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#9 Clarimoo

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Posted 27 June 2019 - 22:03

I don't have lessons at the moment  but I will if I can keep up the regular practice. I know having a teacher would help but I want to prove to myself that I've got enough determination to start again and keep going, before I commit to having lessons again. Also I want to have some things that I can play so that when I do get in contact with a teacher I dont have to say "well, Ive got a certificate for grade 5 but I can't actually play anything".  So I am planning on re-learning things that I could play before and try to build up a bit of a repertoire.


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