Salutary Neglect

May 18, 2011
I have a love-hate relationship with the piano. I love to play but hate to learn, dreading the months of practicing and repeating the miniscule measures of music in the process of mastering the entire piece. For the past seven years, I would rarely practice, either out of laziness or fear of finding my piano-playing abilities to be even worse than I thought.
“You don’t have anything to do right now. Why don’t you practice?” asked my mom.
“Practice? Mom, I don’t have time!” I whined.
“You have time and you’d better practice unless you want to quit. Do you want to quit?”
So I would settle on the smooth wooden bench and dutifully play some scales and trudge through the dismembered sonatas and waltzes that I had so painstakingly avoided. As I played, I went through the ritual of reminding myself that the only reasons why I wouldn’t quit were 1) I didn’t want to be a noncommittal quitter and 2) I loved playing, it was just practicing that I avoided at all costs. It took me a while to realize that piano takes 1% talent and 99% effort. In this sense, effort is synonymous with practice. All it takes to become better is practice.
It’s easier said than done. As I speak, I haven’t practiced for over a week. Fear of falling behind on things that are “more important” scare me out of sitting at the bench. Really, I want to. All I want to do right now is to go home and make up for what I’ve thrown away and neglected all this time.

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hermi1rox said...
Jun. 17, 2011 at 3:12 pm
This is exactly what happens to me with guitar. Glad to know I'm not the only one who feels this way.
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