How's everyone been coping with the wind and dust and smoke over the weekend? I mainly kept myself shut up inside the house, watching lots of sports with mixed results. Wonderful to have the Ashes retained in the cricket, but losses over the weekend to the Broncos and the Lions made for frustrating viewing.
Do you ever notice what happens to your body when you get frustrated watching TV? Maybe you clench your jaw or other muscles, maybe you freeze everything in place, maybe you yell or groan.
Is it any different when you're playing piano? Chances are that when you're frustrated you'll notice a tightening or stiffening in your body. That tightening makes it harder to move your limbs - just try clapping while you tense your arms - so it's important to be able to recognise when you're frustrated and find strategies to work with those sensations or moods when practising.
Do you currently have any strategies when you find yourself getting frustrated at the piano?
This week I bought myself a new toy - M.A.X. by Meccano. I'll have Max on the shelf so you can say hello at your lesson. He's very sociable.
I'm always humbled by the reviews I receive from my students - I do try my very hardest to make each lesson as engaging and rewarding as possible. Here's what Adrienne had to say on Facebook after her lesson last week:
Here’s what I did in my last 3 piano lessons. If the last time you had a lesson was from a nun - you might be surprised what goes on! 🎵
Week 1- Sorted out the chords for a version of Yellow Brick Road (YBR) that I worked out by ear. A few tricky ones I had missed.
Week 2 - I was feeling stuck in interpretation so we played random 90’s songs, picked out elements and applied to some YBR chords . So freeing and fun.😎
Week 3- Re-harmonisation- working out totally new chords to a simple melody -We collaborated on a jazz version of Twinkle Twinkle. Mind expanding! 🤓
Last few weeks have helped me play and experiment more at the piano. Dion is an amazing teacher and you move at your pace, no pressure ever.
Where was Dion when I was a kid!!!
Last week one of my long-term students Liam had his last lesson (for a while) and left me his five-star feedback on Google:
Do yourself a favour and sign up! Dion is the best teacher for those returning to the keys in their adult life. I have been doing piano lessons with him for the last 18 months. In that time I have grown as a player but also as a person. He was able to unlock my frustrations and mental blocks so I could start to enjoy the music I played. I had trouble with maintaining tempo and rhythm from years of traditional music lessons. He broke these bad habits with an insightful and patient teaching style. And he never gets too upset if you don't practice much ! ( You will also learn to stand and sit differently - you'll need to ask him about that)
I'm always very welcoming of your reviews, so if you feel inspired after your lesson, please let me or the world know!
Things I've been watching/listening to this week: