The Zen of Practicing Piano

When I was a little girl, I did not like practicing piano at all. It is tedious, boring, repetitive, and there are much more interesting activities tempted me such as watching TV, reading comic books, hanging out with friends. There also has been a time that I boycotted practicing piano entirely. “Why bother?”

Fast forward, number of years and months past. Now looking back those “golden” days, I often wonder why I was not serious about piano practicing. These days, our life gets in the way and we CANNOT practice even when we WANT to! Yes, my mentality has changed. Playing piano has become my passion these days. However, it is very frustrating sometime that I don’t have enough time to spend in front of the keyboard!

Looking back, I started to reflect on “Why?” “Why didn’t I enjoy practicing?” This reflection is just like a meditation. It is a soul search, deep diving into my root cause. No, it was not because of the music selection. No, it was not because of the teacher (I LOVED my piano teachers; husband and wife pair back in Tokyo, Japan).

After going through my soul search, some of the possibilities a can be the following:

  • I felt very comfortable playing piano music which I mastered and enjoyed playing them over and over. Rather than learning something completely new, I wanted to hang onto my old pieces to indulge myself 🙂
  • My teacher was emphasizing on perfecting mechanics of the playing such as finger movements, accuracy of fingerings, and accuracy of rhythms and such. I had a great foundation of rhythmical training such as 4/4 on left hand vs. 6/4 on right hand and so on. In other words, my piano playing was not coming from my heart. It was coming from my brain using metronome.
  • Annual Piano Student Recitals were rather boring. We could identify the progress of our skill levels but repertoire was practically same as last year, meaning different people are playing similar pieces every year…

By going through this list, there are moment of “Ahhh, I cannot do THAT as a teacher!” It is not my intention to condemn my previous teachers. I simply want to do better job than them! That said, I will share my strategies in other blog. Please stay tuned 🙂