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Myths in Piano Playing

“There are some disabling myths about what art is, how to do it,what is good art and what art is for that have gagged generations, depriving them of a significant and natural means of expression.  This is a terrible loss and an unnecessary one!”   

Peter London

There are a number of myths in learning music:

  1. You have to practice at least 1-2 hours a day or more in order to be good.
  2. Every note has to be “perfect.”
  3. You have to have “talent.”
  4. If you did not start piano as a child, there is little hope for you!

Myth 1:  As adults, we most often do not have anything close to 1-2 hours per day, especially not every day.

With the Cercone Method, the use of the 5 minute-technique works wonders.  These 5 minutes can move into 10 or more.

A very critical point to remember – it is not so much the length of time that we practice, but HOW we practice that will determine how good we become!  Length of time is very important but equally critical is HOW we practice.

Cercone Music Method has a very specific method of practicing that accelerates the learning of music over 500%.

It is important to remember our goals.

Do we wish to be a virtuoso or a Professional musician? Then hours a day are required.

Do we wish to be an amateur – meaning, we wish to play for ourselves and maybe a few friends. Then we start with the 5 minute technique and use what time we have with the special Cercone Music Method.

The Cercone Music Method utilizes a very specific, brain based method of practicing. 10 minutes of this kind of practice is worth more than an hour of note by note practice.

The Cercone Music Method capitalizes on the way the brain learns in order to create success in music and an enjoyable process.

Myth 2:  Every note has to be perfect.

Professional musicians do not always play every note “perfectly.”  They keep the right rhythm and move on.  No one really then remembers the so called “wrong note.”  Rhythm is most important.

Focusing on playing every note correctly creates much tension thus making it easier to play “wrong notes.”

Learn the song well via the Cercone Method.

Have the correct rhythm.

Focus on creating beauty and the fluidity of the song.

If a “wrong” note is accidentally played, it is hardly heard for the music keep moving and the beauty continues.

I was at a concert of Isaac Stern, the world famous violinist.  An acquaintance of mine was turning pages for the piano player.  The concert was sold out so risers were put on stage and some of us were sitting on stage.

 At a certain point I noticed movement with the pianist.  The woman turning the pages was turning pages very quickly.  The pianist would look at the page and negatively shake his head. So she turned another, then another and a few more until he finally nodded his head.

In the meantime, the pianist and Isaac kept on playing and everything sounded fine.

During intermission, I approached the page turner and asked her: “What happened?” “Oh, Isaac skipped about 10 pages and we  had to catch up with him.”

 Isaac still received a standing ovation, the music sounded beautiful and no one knew that 10 pages had been skipped.

The goal is to play music for the deep joy and beauty that it contains. It feeds our soul!

Myth 3:  You have to have talent

People do have talent in music!  Most of the time the talent was not developed or the student took the note by note approach to piano, rather than the reading approach.

In over 40 years of teaching music, I have yet to find a person who had no talent.

If the hands are not coordinated, we do special brain techniques and the coordination is there.

Many people have been told in childhood or teens that they have no talent and that lie is carried forward into their adult years.

Once, a person realizes that was a lie, he can move on in his goal of playing music.

Myth 4: If you did not start playing piano as a child, there is no hope for you.

We have adult students in their late 70’s and into their 80’s who are
playing piano most successfully.

It is the choice of a person:

I am too old to learn.”

“I choose to learn as long as I can.”

The first one will never try and the second one will come for lessons.

Music is our song within us waiting to be played!