When we start doing music, we are really excited - loads of inspiration, we are SO looking forward to doing a piece or a song!
But as we get into practice, little by little we begin loosing interest - things get more difficult, more challenging and we realise that instead of playing music and playing with the music we are more and more into difficulties, like :
- sight reading and altogether playing sheet music,
- or co-ordination of the body (where do my hands go and why the heck don’t they coincide?),
- or fast tempo (why is it that when I play slowly, everything goes so smooth and nice but as soon I move into the real tempo, it becomes a mess - fingers are glued together, notes are missing or wrong?),
- and the rhythm! (When I hear the tune played on record, it’s so lively and swinging and it really makes me feel like dancing, but when I play, the music becomes rigid and cold… that is, if I can manage to play it without stopping at the page turn…),
- And how come that I’ve played the piece over and over with the score but it does not stick to my mind? I have this really great little solo after the 2nd chorus and I play it fairly well alone but I can never manage it when the whole band is there,
- Or it could be just hitting the right notes - why am I off tune all the time every now and then?
You might even realise that you experience a kind of fear, a resentment against certain parts of the piece. Oh, no, no, here comes the difficult part! It’s so fast, there are so many notes!
Sometimes we get so tired of all that, we put the piece to the side and take another one thinking: I’ll take it from the scratch, here we go!
But then the same problems pop up one after another - being a prisoner of the score, the limbs are simply not behaving, my waltz resembles a military march, notes do not sound as they should and so on, and so on…
With time we become a lot more cautious about choosing our pieces. You hear a piece and you really want to play it, but then you open the score and quickly close it saying: Well, no this one. It is not really my level.
The more time passes, the less there is motivation. The desire to practice gets more and more dampened by the lack of confidence. The mere approaching the instrument feels like a sentence to hard labour. We keep saying “I’ll keep up tomorrow” or ”I really should be practicing more often, but I don’t have time” without realising that we always find time for what we really want.
In other words, the pleasure of doing music is gone, because we need loads of time to find solutions for the problems - technique, rhythm, just remembering things…
What to do then?