A while ago, I wrote about rediscovering my love for piano when I decided to learn Chopin’s Fantaisie Impromptu on a whim. I did learn it successfully, but wasn’t content with where I was with it, performance-wise. It wasn’t as fast as I’d like, nor as smooth, and my fingers would sometimes stumble over each other (ie it was sheer will power that made them play fast). I was frustrated, but thought it was just a result of not playing seriously for 4 years, and kind of accepted it (since I went back to Guelph and didn’t have access to a decent piano). Boy, was I ever wrong.
As some of you know, I was asked to accompany a kid doing his grade 10 violin exam, 2.5 weeks before the exam (@_@”). I agreed, since you get paid (awesome for a jobless hobo like me!), and I had tons of time on my hands to learn the ~1 inch stack of music given me. Using M.E.’s learn-pieces-quick techniques, I managed to learn it all (forever grateful to my amazing, amazing teacher!), which included Bartok’s Romanian Folk Dances (6 short pieces altogther), Kabalevsky’s Violin Concerto in C Major (1st & 2nd movements), and Beethoven’s Violin Sonata No. 4 in A minor (1st & 2nd movements).
practiced so hard in my LIFE.
practiced until my fingers hurt.
had sore hands from practicing.
broken a sweat from practicing.
I experienced all that from madly learning these pieces. Clearly I didn’t work hard enough when I was still taking lessons haha… But the great thing is that technique I thought lost returned!!
I was sick of practicing the exam accompaniment pieces, so decided to pull out the Chopin again and give it a whirl. Oh. My. Gosh. WHAT a difference!!! My fingers felt limbre, loose, and they flew. They felt sure of themselves, there was no hesitation, and I was immediately playing it twice as fast as I had before without having to push for speed. It literally felt like chains had fallen off my fingers and they could run like the wind. I have never felt so excited about playing before, and had the hugest grin on my face. Even my mom noticed the difference! It’s so crazy, but so true: practice (hard, diligent, effective practice) DOES make perfect!!!