(Written end of 2014)
I seem to have been neglecting this website over the past wee while - something which I will have to rectify!
The December-January period has been good. I am sure I have played my piano more in the past few weeks than I had in the previous 10+ years! In fact tonight I tried playing a piece which I had started to work on all those years ago and which really had got the better of me at the time i.e. it proved beyond me. I refer to Beethoven Piano Sonata in Dminor op31 no2, sometimes nicknamed "the Tempst".
With a rye smile I opened the music and set fingers on ivory and started, come what may! To my astonishment the revolution in piano technique I've been undergoing these past months meant that the previously impossible was occurring with little fatigue or stress! Now I'll not kid you that it was a polished or well thought out interpretation, but it showed that my previous technique (or lack there of ) - a mostly finger-based method - was a complete hindrance beyond the most simple short music.
I am also putting into practice the mental techniques covered by Dr Andrew in the group mindfulness session in the Annexe from Nov-Dec. In a word - being kind in attitude to myself (OK 6 words). Yes listen and correct/ improve what my ears tell me I've played - but don't be so utterly critical and perfectionist that you defeat & scunner yourself before you're 15 minutes into a new piece!
Also playing totally new things in terms of style. Loving "cocktail" piano at the moment, both realised jazz scores and teaching myself the theory to produce it myself. The harmonies are amazing, the tunes are lovely, great interesting rhythms and basically FUN! Never thought I'd say that about playing the piano ever again :)
Keep being kind and encouraging, and enjoy music - now there's a lesson to remember, not just in piano practice but in life generally!