Repertoire burnout! - Has this ever happened to you?

Discuss the piano literature and how to teach and learn it

Postby Tranquillo » Mon Sep 22, 2008 7:30 pm

Yes, playing other pieces help eliminate burnout. I think just taking a few weeks break helps. Afterward when you pick the piece back up again it feels very very refreshing.
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Postby presto » Tue Mar 03, 2009 6:59 pm

Here's something else I've come up with since I gave that last piece of advice a while ago. Recently, I too was preparing some pieces for an audition, and I too had been learning my (three) pieces for well over a year, so I was feeling very drained because of playing them over and over again.

I tried playing other pieces, which helped a little, but then inevitably I had to go back to practicing the same pieces, and I felt like they were getting so stale, losing their convincing qualities....

Fortunately, I had a "eureka" moment out of which came this guiding principle:

Never lose the joy!

I only had to remember never to lose the joy of making beautiful music while playing a beautiful instrument. See, I hardly ever felt tired of my piece when performing it for my teacher or someone else, because then it was "the real thing," and I was sure to try to put all the emotions and expressions into it, and do my best. But sometimes my private, at-home practicing became a mechanical thing, which holds practically no attraction for me at all. So, I realized that as long as I was enjoying my practicing in the context of music-making, I wouldn't find it tedious to play a piece again and again.

To sum up, I used to focus mainly on the challenge, but now I like to focus on the beauty of it. The challenge of the music may end, but its beauty never does. Seen this way, practicing is not a chore but a privilege! It was a simple yet profound discovery for me that I hope others will be able to understand as well. It hasn't failed me yet!
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