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When I want to practise I feel that I need absolute quiet around me and that I don't want other people sitting in the same room. I feel that then I am unable to concentrate and give my full attention to the music. I can in other words not get myself absorbed into it and therefore it helps me nothing at all to practise when there's somebody sitting there. Do you also experience this? Or is it just me with an attentive problem? I am just one of these people who can't do two things at once. I have to concentrate fully on one thing or it doesn't work. What can I do to get around this, especially when friends or family visit and they want to hear you play (like say your grandma's sister who never sees you in years)? You don't want to be rude and can't tell them to go out or anything. But I really need to practice especially now that my time is very limited!! I'd appreciate any suggestions. Maybe I should just try doing it, but it's hard... Thanks!

-- Vipercat (noname_poster@yahoo.com), April 01, 2001


I'm sure we all deal with this, unless we are fortunate enough to have a sound-proof studio with a locked door! I try to focus on things I can do that don't necessarily involve focused listening. When things are noisy, try working on new repertoire and decide on fingerings, memorize portions, and analyze the harmony and write either chord symbols (my preference) or roman numerals for each chord. Study form, voicing, anything that will help you when you actually start making sound! I know we need to hear what's going on, but I've resorted to wearing earphones which cup around the ears and keep the noise out (imagine practicing in a college house with 5 other guys!) . Believe it or not, you can benefit from this kind of practice if used sparingly! You'll be challenged to REALLY HEAR and IMAGINE the music with your "inner hearing", and your sense of touch and how you use weight and speed when dropping into keys will be more noticeable. But above all....be assertive to family members about your need to practice in peace! Try to work out a schedule where everyone compromises. Good Luck!

-- John Bisceglia (Bisceglia2000@yahoo.com), April 02, 2001.

Thanks for the response. Yeah, that's the problem -- our piano's in the living room! Thing is, I've asked this question because I'm practising hard for a video recording that I must make one of these days that has to be sent to a competition for the first round. So I kinda had to work on some particular pieces namely Mozart Sonata no.14 in C minor K457 and also Chopin Raindrop Prelude and so on. I'll try out what you said. Thanks again.

-- Vipercat (noname_poster@yahoo.com), April 03, 2001.

I have the exact same thing going on. I cannot practice whenever people are around. It even disturbs me, whenever they watch me practicing through the window. Because practicing is very different from performing where you show yourself to other people, it is normal, that you want to be by yourself. Try to find a way to talk to the people, explain to them, that you haveto b by yourself.

-- Andy (amb7078@griffon.mwsc.edu), April 08, 2001.


Doesn't that just drive you CRAZY!?!?!?!? I have kids, too! I practice when they are in school. Mon, Tue, and Wed nights, they go in another room and do homework, play playstation, etc., while I teach. They are not allowed to come into the living room while I am teaching. But on the nights I am not, I might as well forget about playing the piano until they go to school or are playing outside!! We have a one-floor house, so I totally know what you're going through!

-- Deanne (dpetras@eohio.net), February 24, 2002.

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